25 Oct 2010

Women's advocate in Kiribati says women must speak out against violence

9:42 am on 25 October 2010

The coordinator of Kiribati's gender based violence study says men need more education and women must speak up more, if they want to address increasing conflict.

Maere Tekanene says World Health Organisation research revealed sixty-eight per cent of women in Kiribati have experience domestic violence at some time in their lives.

She has been disseminating the research results throughout Kiribati and says in particular men need more information and engagement to achieve a more civilised society.

"The males do need education on reproductive health and family planning. Because the responses I got seem to have been saying things like, questions like; 'Why would we ask consent from our own wives?'"

Maere Tekanene says women also need to learn not to accept and justify violence from men.

She says an 'ending violence against women' policy is now complete, thanks to funding from regional donors, and it will be presented to cabinet soon.