Fiji PM: No Justification For Domestic Violence, Government Has Zero Tolerance

Bainimarama contradictions Speaker’s comments that women sometimes deserve it

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 26, 2016) – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has rejected Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni's views that wives who aggravate their husbands are partially to blame for domestic violence.

He made the comments in Istanbul, Turkey, at the World Humanitarian Summit Leaders Roundtable on Women and Girls.

And while not mentioning Dr Luveni directly, Mr Bainimarama did make comments that were in stark contrast to those made by the Speaker last week.

Mr Bainimarama said his attitude and that of his Government was one of zero tolerance for violence against women.

"I simply do not accept the argument that the onus is on a woman not to provoke her partner's temper. And that if she does so, that somehow justifies or excuses the treatment that is meted out to her," Mr Bainimarama said.

"It is a way of thinking that provides men with an excuse to justify the unjustifiable and women to accept the unacceptable.

"It is a way of thinking that is totally out of kilter with the norms of any society with pretensions to decency. And it is a way of thinking that perpetuates a cycle of violence and must be eradicated with the full force of the law. Zero tolerance for those who abuse women and girls.

"I want to make it perfectly clear what my own attitude is and that of the Government I lead. There is no justification, no excuse, for any man to inflict violence on a woman or abuse her in any way. Those who do so are cowards and criminals."

Dr Luveni had made her comments in an address on violence against women and girls at Rishikul Sanatan College in Nasinu last week.

"Sometimes, we know exactly what our husbands don't like and then we do it. What do you expect?" Dr Luveni had said.

"We women need to be aware our husbands also have a temper and that sometimes we women aggravate the situation.

"Now that is the reality and I think that the reality is more important than the ideal."

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji - like many other societies - was patriarchal with a range of institutional and cultural barriers to gender equality.

"I am sad to report that we all still have a terrible problem with male attitu­des to women. We have an unacceptable level of rape and child abuse," he said.

"Far too many men regard women as subservient and as possessions for their sexual gratification. Far too many men routinely resort to violence in a domestic setting.

"We are in the throes of a national debate about whether women are in any way to blame for this."

Fiji Times Online.
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Comments

First and foremost I have applauded Fiji PM for fairly spoken out about Domestic Violence against woman and girls in Pacific. Micronesia, Chuuk State have the worst recorded of Domestic Violence against woman at past, and present. The small minded and backward cultures we have in Pacific and Micronesia need to stop! We are all educated in democracy, (not in Communism teaching) and it should teaches all our people that Domestic Violence is a crime against woman, and girls and mankind, too. BTW, those they held titled as Dr. whether he/she should go back to school, and sharpen their taught on what is justice! Thank You!

Fiji PM: No Justification For Domestic Violence, Government Has Zero Tolerance

Yes! It's about time, Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence. Not only at homes but also in schools. I witnessed girls being punched by boys a lot just because their hormones were bursting at the seam. Thank you Honorable Prime Minister for speaking out loudly. I also saw women going to work with black eyes. Imagine returning to a horrific home environment everyday and face that type of violence. This must end.

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