14 Jul 2015

Gender inequality root cause of violence against women

5:48 am on 14 July 2015

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre says gender equality must be promoted at all levels, if violence against women is to be combatted.

Fiji women in the streets of Suva.

Fiji women in the streets of Suva. Photo: AFP

The centre's co-ordinator, Shamima Ali, says there is a culture of silence on issues of sexual and domestic violence, and gender inequality is the root cause.

She says efforts need to be made to ensure women have an education, and that women are at the table at every level of decision making.

Shamima Ali says spaces need to be created where women are able to speak out without fear.

"We have to have gender accountability within organisations, we need to start with government organisations. If the Labour Department has got a sexual harrassment policy, is it in name only, or you have a way of how it is going to operate and does everyone know about it? You know women's development is stunted because of the huge amount of sexual harrassment that goes on, particularly in working places."

The co-ordinator of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali.