Let’s work together to end violence against women and girls

10 Dec, 2021

As we conclude the 16 Days of Activism Campaign today, now is the time to redouble our efforts, so that together, we can eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali said as the campaign intensified awareness on violence against women and girls for the past 16 days, it was encouraging to see stakeholders, individuals and the community at large galvanize their support towards the cause.

Ms Ali thanked those who participated in the campaign and showed interest and commitment to not just be a bystander, but stand up and demand for an end to this ‘shadow pandemic’.

She said this year, Fiji witnessed worrisome developments – death threats on women, attacks on female Members of Parliament by their male counterparts, gruesome physical attacks and murders of women, inconsistent court judgements and continued increase and intensification of violence.

Ms Ali said for November alone, FWCC and its branches received 669 domestic violence cases, 5 rape cases, 6 attempted rape cases, 2 child sexual abuse cases, 3 child rape cases, 6 child physical/verbal/emotional abuse cases and 5 sexual harassment cases.

She said these figures were alarming and would get even worse if we don’t work together in the fight to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Ms Ali said a world without violence is possible and this demands action, courage, commitment and determination from everyone to make it a reality.

“Let’s continue our efforts all year round from 16 to 365 days of activism, to advance the human rights of women, lets show our firmest condemnation to all forms of discrimination and violence against women – an unacceptable phenomenon and a serious impediment to the achievement of gender equality in Fiji.”

Ms Ali said COVID-19 has presented us with new challenges which call for individual and collective solutions.

“The pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures imposed by the Fijian government have exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities and contributed significantly to the rise in cases of domestic violence and abuse against women, girls and children and this would get worse in Fiji if we get a third wave of the virus.”

Ms Ali said as the women’s movements continue to intensify awareness and put in tireless amount of effort to end gender-based violence, progress is possible and we must continue to work together to achieve more.

She said as a nation, the protection and promotion of women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, girls and children should become our key priorities as we progress into the new year.

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