8 Jan 2009

Women's organisation says women would be worst hit if Forum suspends Fiji

4:07 pm on 8 January 2009

The co-ordinator of a women's peace group in Fiji says it's women and children who would be hit hardest if a decision to suspend the country from the Pacific Islands Forum goes ahead.

Suspending Fiji from the regional body is one of the options to be discussed at a special Forum leaders summit in Port Moresby later this month.

A group of political minor parties is calling on the interim government to impose trade boycotts and visa restrictions on any country that backs suspending Fiji from the Forum.

But Sharon Bhagwan rolls of FemLink Pacific says that would be diastrous for the country.

"What that would mean is just the shutting down of the office here in Suva and the pulling out of a whole lot of infrastructure support, the access that we have right now to the forum, to be able to engage with the political forum, just from our own work it's going to impact on the kind of work we've been doing as a regional women's peace network for the last three years so for our own organisation, that's just disaster."

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls of FemLink Pacific.