Violence against women is one of the major concern in any country right now. Fiji being such a small island country compared to other countries, has many cases of violence against women.
Having a mind-set of if women are educated and earning good money, they would not be harassed or threatened has changed. In fact this has proved wrong in many circumstances. Even though women have started to achieve desired positions, education and respect in society, yet they are considered weak and are victims of violence.
Why such culture is still part of our society where a man is thought to be strong and some man also end up hitting women just because they think they are strong. Island pacific countries have taboos and regulations where man of the family is the decision maker of the family.
A woman is supposed to be agreed to what the man of the family has decided. In 21st century, don’t we realize that it is high time we give opportunity to women to have a say as well. Women look after children, house chores and running of the family. If women can look after such a huge responsibility, than why still in villages and families, women are not supposed to give their opinion during meetings.
Women should also realize that being in a “nut shell” will only help them be more isolated and not see a future with the man of the family.
Coming back to the point where man feel they are strong and end up hitting their woman, should stop. A good example would be the recent case in Fiji where a very educated and inspiring journalist lost her life. Losana McGowan, lost her life in a domestic violence where her husband is alleged to hitting her after being drunk. Losana being educated and being a famous face of the public could not be spared from the fact of violence against women.
Fiji Women’s Crisis Center realized a report of the number and rate of violence based on gender and particularly women. The report “Somebody’s Life,Everybody’s Bussiness” shows that Fiji’s rates of violence against women and girls are among the very highest in the world: 64% of women who have ever been in an intimate relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime, and 24% are suffering from physical or sexual partner violence today. Fiji being such a small island country and sitting on 64% is a HUGE number.
Imagine how we are tackling these issues in Fiji that the issue keeps growing and not decreasing. There needs to be further work linking how we can now address the broader issues of violence against women, gender-based violence that Losana’s death has thrown up for us as a community. Losana being an example should make us realize that even working and educated women are helpless in such situations.
Another example would be when Joytika Singh a well-known feminist and a human rights advocate was allegedly murdered by her husband. Jyotika was enrolled at the University of the South Pacific and doing her masters before her untimely death.
Being a feminist advocate, still Jyotika could not find a safe ground to protect herself from being a victim. Is it we are not doing enough to address such issues or, if we are doing enough than we are not focusing on men to realize their mistakes.
This may be boring if you reading it but we need to step out of our comfort zones and discuss on topics that are a major concern of the society. Loosing people like Losana McGowan is a loss for all youths and women of the society. Recognize the importance of women in your society, THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
- A very interesting video to watch from Solomon Islands.
- For news covered on Losana McGowan and Jyotika Singh access: