Fiji: Women Reclaim the Night & Call for End to Sexual Violence

Fiji Times via WUNRN
The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre is calling for a safer environment for women and children.
The increase in sexual offences is why activists led a march through the streets of Suva, Fiji. "The march was a symbolic gesture calling for an end to sexual violence against women and children," centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said.
"It is a time when we say that the night and the streets belong to us as well and we walk along dark streets where most women would be afraid to go.

"While we call for safe streets, we'd like to remind people that most women do not feel safe in their own homes." "We know many sexual assaults take place in homes as well so we need to remind people that sexual assault should not be tolerated in public or private domain," she said.

Ms Ali said at least one in five women around the world had experienced rape or attempted rape in their life, with most sexual offenders known to the victim and were often trusted family members.

The centre has been organising the Reclaim the Night march since the mid-1990s. A similar march was held in Nadi recently. This year's theme is Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

"To this day we continue to struggle for women's rights and we call for a society that upholds the rights of women and all citizens through democracy and the rule of law," the centre said.

8 March 2008

Source: Fiji Times