3 May 2017

Call for more consultation over Fiji village bylaws

10:42 am on 3 May 2017

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement has called for wider and longer consultation on proposed bylaws for the country's villages.

Nalini Singh, Chair of NGO Coalition for Human Rights in Fiji.

Nalini Singh, Chair of NGO Coalition for Human Rights in Fiji. Photo: Supplied/ Fiji Women’s Rights Movement

The iTaukei Affairs Board is compiling submissions on the draft regulations which have been taken to Fiji's 14 provinces.

The bylaws contain a raft of rules ranging from dress code and a ban on alcohol to provisions on child protection, sewage disposal and boat safety.

The group's Executive Director Nalini Singh said among the issues it had raised were discrimination and lack of provision for women who are elderly and vulnerable.

She said the bylaws contravened national laws and policies but if they were considered necessary, gender equality must be put to the fore.

"We know that there has been less than active participation of women, young women, people living with disabilities, our sisters in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex communities that do live in the village set-ups and they need to be consulted because these will be the sectors of the community that will be affected the most."