Men Need To Change At­ti­tude To­wards Women, Girls: Ak­bar

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Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Rosy Ak­bar has called on men to change their at­ti­tude to­wards women and girls. Min­is­ter Ak­bar made this com­ment while an­swer­ing a ques­tion from the au­di­ence at the Par­lia­ment Speaker’s De­bate held at the Grand Pa­cific Ho­tel, in Suva last night. The Speaker’s De­bate was for the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Ms Ak­bar, Deputy Chair for the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on So­cial Af­fairs Salote Radro­dro, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bri­gadier- Gen­eral Si­tiveni Qiliho, Team Leader for Fiji Women’s Rights Move­ment Maraia Tabunakawai, Methodist Church in Fiji and Ro­tuma min­is­ter Rev­erend Iliesa Naivalu, and Speaker of Par­lia­ment Dr Jiko Lu­veni, to share their views and dis­cus­sions in re­la­tion to women and vi­o­lence. “It is about how our at­ti­tude is to­wards women and girls. If we con­tinue to think that women and girls could be beaten up and as­saulted , then it is our mind, our at­ti­tude that needs to be changed,” Ms Ak­bar said. “Women and men de­serve to be treated equally. For­get about what they wear, what they do as it should not be a fac­tor just be­cause she is born a woman. There are good men who re­spect women and I re­spect those men. I re­quest those good men to come for­ward and be a role model for our so­ci­ety.” Ms Radro­dro said it could not be stated whether there was progress made in terms of the re­al­ity on the ground. “Be­cause of the ab­sence of sta­tis­tics, we can­not say whether we have been suc­cess­ful with our aware­ness pro­grammes or not,” Ms Radro­dro said. “But women need to be strong and come for­ward to fight against vi­o­lence and as­saults. We stand to take our stand.” Bri­gadier- Gen­eral Qiliho said: “Com­pared to 2015, we have more num­ber of cases recorded in 2016 than the pre­vi­ous year. “I would like for women and chil­dren to come for­ward and re­port for vi­o­lence against them so we could make our so­ci­ety a much safer place,” he said. Speaker of the Par­lia­ment Dr Lu­veni said vi­o­lence was a ma­jor is­sues in the so­ci­ety and there was work done to elim­i­nate it. “Vi­o­lence against women and girls has neg­a­tive con­se­quences for women but also im­pacts on their fam­i­lies, the com­mu­nity and the coun­try at large,” Dr Lu­veni said. Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

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