SUVA (Fiji Sun/Fiji Women's Rights Movement/ Fiji Village/ Pacific Media Watch): Comments made by FijiFirst parliamentary Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni apparently blaming women for aggravating domestic violence has been met with strong reaction from gender NGOs requesting the MP to apologise.
The MP’s comments appeared in a Fiji Sun article titled ‘Sometimes Women Aggravate It, Says Dr Luveni’, which was published online on Wednesday.
The Fiji Women’s Right Movement (FWRM) soon responded to Dr Luveni’s statements in a media release published on the FWRM Facebook page, which said there was never any justification or excuse for violence.
“It was disappointing to see the comments attributed to Speaker Dr Jiko Luveni in the Fiji Sun newspaper, suggesting that women aggravate or help cause the violence they experience,” the media release reported.
The FWRM stated duty bearers needed to speak out against violence without further marginalising women and girls.
In an interview with Fiji Village, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali said the centre is “appalled and alarmed” by the statements made the Fiji MP and has called for an apology.
“The women of the country who have died and those who struggle daily to survive domestic violence deserve an apology from the Speaker of Parliament for blaming them for the violence inflicted upon them and demeaning the experiences of survivors and victims,” said Ali in the Fiji Village report.
In the same article, Dr Luveni responded and said her comments were taken out of context and that she did not condone violence against women.
Listen to Fiji Village’s coverage of the issue here.
It is not the first time Dr Luveni has stirred anger among women NGOs. In 2014 she was condemed for shaming rape victims, which saw the FWRM launch a campaign calling for the MP's resignation.
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