15 Feb 2013

Call for Fiji interim government to prioritise prevention of violence against women

6:09 pm on 15 February 2013

The organiser of an event that drew hundreds of Fiji women to a street march through the capital in protest at violence against women is calling on the interim government to prioritise the issue.

This year is the first time the Pacific, where violence against women is endemic, has been involved in the two-year-old worldwide One Billion Rising campaign.

Recent figures show that 64 percent of women in Fiji have experienced violence in an intimate relationship, higher than the global average of one in three.

Roshika Deo says government bureaucracy surrounding the organising of yesterday's event, including restrictions on the use of banners and loud hailers, made it unnecessarily complicated.

She says it was also very difficult to get government departments involved.

"We have to have the state bodies, we have to have the authorities to realise that it is a real problem and they can't be taking protectionist approaches to address this issue because obviously this hasn't worked so far. They have to engage with people, they have to hear what they have to say and we have to be given the opportunity to say all these things."

The organiser of Fiji's One Billion Rising campaign, Roshika Deo.