9 Mar 2004

Fiji Muslim women complain of gender discrimination

9:44 am on 9 March 2004

A group of Muslim women in Fiji has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission that their rights have been violated.

The Daily Post reports that the complaint relates to their being denied the right to vote at a meeting of the Suva branch of the Fiji Muslim League.

Women members of the League are quoted as saying they attended the meeting but were turned away when they wanted to cast votes to elect executives.

They say no reason was given but it was clear they could not vote because they were women.

One woman says she was told by the presiding officer that women were not needed and they should just go back home.

The group says this is gender discrimination and the men need to be reminded that Fiji is not Afghanistan, nor is it governed by Taliban laws.

The issue has been highlighted as women throughout Fiji commemorated International Women's Day yesterday.