8 Mar 2012

Fiji women keen to join march against violence

2:36 pm on 8 March 2012

Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre is hoping rural women will become safer from sexual violence on their streets and at home after a joint march for their rights.

The Centre's Coordinator says the Fiji authorities granted permits for four annual 'Reclaim the Night' walks this year.

Shamima Ali says the rural women are all very keen to march together but problems of transport and access limit numbers in some remote areas.

She says domestic violence is high in Fiji and political instability limits women's access to justice.

"For the first time in Fiji we are decentralising to the rural areas and in the district of Nadi there are two simultaneous marches, one in the suburb and one in actually a village, where three villages are combining and discussing issues of sexual assault but also walking around the village and reclaiming the night with candles and so on."

Shamima Ali says marches like this to mark International Women's Day get people more involved in women's rights issues and she hopes the networks can be used to improve legal literacy among women.