27 Apr 2012

Fiji Legal Aid Commission welcomes decree on de facto relationships

1:24 pm on 27 April 2012

A member of Fiji's Legal Aid Commission says new recognition of women in de facto relationships will have a huge impact on a large number of poor women.

Peni Moore, who is also the head of Women's Action for Change, says a great percentage of women in Fiji are not registered as married, despite living in traditional or religious marriages.

She says a new amendment to the Family Law decree, passed this week, means they can get legal representation in court.

She says the change will have a big impact on poorer women.

"To be honest it's one of the biggest problems women have faced as de facto women. They've lost access to children, they've had no way of getting maintenance for themselves, they have no right to property, its been devastating for many women. And like I say its often the poor women."

Peni Moore says it's important to let people know about the law change so that they do come forward and access legal aid.