26 Nov 2003

Abuse of Fiji women costs US$150m

7:15 am on 26 November 2003

The health cost of violence against women in Fiji has been officially estimated at 150 million US dollars.

Radio Fiji says the cost was given by the minister for health, Solomone Naivalu, while launching 16 days of activism against gender violence in Suva.

Mr Naivalu says national research conducted by the Women's Crisis Centre has indicated that 66 percent of women in Fiji have at some point been beaten by their partners.

30 percent of these women have been repeatedly abused.

Mr Naivalu says the health cost of violence is seven percent of gross domestic products or far more than double Fiji's annual health budget of 58 million US dollars.