20 Jun 2016

Fiji chief takes stand against violence

5:48 am on 20 June 2016

A Fijian paramount chief has made a commitment to end violence against women in his province, saying the law and human rights overide tradition and culture.

The Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere

The Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere Photo: Fiji Womens Crisis Centre

The Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, says his province's chiefs have been told they need to make a stand against rape, child abuse, and other gender-based violence.

He says there is often a tension between cultural tradition and human rights law, but the law overrides tradition and violent acts cannot be condoned.

Ratu Wiliame's comments were made at the end of a five-day workshop for law enforcement officers on how to deal with cases of violence against women and children.

The coordinator of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, Shamima Ali, says domestic violence and sexual assault are uncomfortable topics to talk about, but the officials had shown great willingness to improve their behaviour.