16 Mar 2012

Fiji Women's groups berate short skirts comment

2:18 pm on 16 March 2012

Women's groups in Fiji have lashed out at comments by the general secretary of the Fiji Taxi Association, who said the wearing of short skirts could result in harassment by taxi drivers.

Rishi Ram said the Association was telling female passengers how to dress up and that it was human nature that taxi drivers would be distracted by revealing clothes.

The coordinator of the Women's Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, says his remarks contribute to stereotypical ideas that women ask to be sexually harassed because of the way they dress.

According to Ms Ali there have been a number of cases of women and girls attacked by taxi drivers and bus drivers in Fiji.

She says there needs to be some accountability among those who have been granted Public Service Vehicle licenses and if drivers are caught harassing their female passengers it should be treated as a crime.

Women's Action for Change is also upset by the comments and has called on the Fiji Taxi Union to distance itself from Mr Ram's remarks, which justify crimes of sexual harassment.