Lose your fear and become activists.

11 Mar, 2022

This was the message from Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali to more than 100 women who participated in the Fiji Girmit Council Women’s Wing’s International Women’s Day event in Lautoka on Tuesday.

“We have, at the moment, one great chance, elections are coming,” the human rights activist said.

“Exercise your right to vote as citizens of our country.”

Ms Ali said there were obstacles, that women especially would face, given laws that were in place which required everyone to register and vote with their birth certificate name.

“Please do register to vote, it is difficult, but do register to vote and exercise your right to vote.

“Look at your lives, look at what you are getting and what you are not getting.

“You have a wonderful chance to exercise that right, to get the leaders that you want.”

Ms Also also highlighted the need for families to implement equal parenting strategies when it came to raising their children.

“We must build our girls self-esteem, their self-confidence and their self-respect.

“These are the three values we should give to our children, and girls particularly.

“We destroy their self-esteem when we tell them – ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’, especially when a girl sees her brother having a lot more privileges, a lot more freedoms, a lot more resources than she has.

“If we tell girls, the only place for them is the kitchen, we restrict them.

“We tell the girls this is your world, you stay here whereas the boys we tell them ‘the world is your oyster, go for it.

“This is not only the mother’s job, it is the mother’s and father’s job to instill self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect.

“We need equal parenting,

“And to give them an education, however you can.

“Education won’t stop violence altogether but it will give her options.”

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