12 Dec 2005

Fiji Cabinet Minister under attack for startling claims about human rights

7:21 pm on 12 December 2005

The Fiji Women's Rights group says government ministers need to be better informed before commenting publicly on human rights issues.

Last week, the assistant minister for Culture and Heritage, Nanise Nagusuca, told a meeting of indigenous Fijian women that the have been adversely affected by the promotion of human rights.

She said indigenous women should only accept what is traditional, such as afro hairstyles and cultural dress.

But the Director of the Fiji Women's Rights Movement,Virisila Buadromo, says the comment is ill-informed and in direct contrast with the progress women have made.

"She needs to talk to the Fiji Human Rights Commission and to talk to other women's organisations and for us to give her some sort of analysis on this issue. Because we understand that she is new as an assistant minister, and we are willing to give her that support and encouragement for a better analysis, rather than her putting her foot into it."

The Director of Women's Rights in Fiji, Virisila Budadromo.