8 Mar 2005

Fiji celebrates International Women's Day but notes 60 percent of women face abuse

5:26 pm on 8 March 2005

Fiji is celebrating International Women's Day today amid concern that more than 60% of women in the country face abuse.

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre says violence against women is a major problem in the country and common cases are usually marital abuse.

As well, many women in Fiji continue to work in poor conditions for meagre wages and face numerous forms of human rights violations on a daily basis.

The Centre says women and children remain the poorest of the poor with their labour undervalued and undercounted in national statistics.

It says women activists around the world over are questioning the Beijing Platform for Action and adds that trade and economic policies that govern lives do not consider women's needs

It says rape and abuse are seen as private concerns while right wing forces invoke culture and religion to deny women's rights.