Holiday in manifesto

SODELPA provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya. SODELPA has included a public holiday in its manifesto for women on International Women's Day. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

SODELPA provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya. SODELPA has included a public holiday in its manifesto for women on International Women's Day. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE Social Democratic Liberal Party has included a public holiday in its manifesto for women on International Women’s Day.

In a statement, the party’s provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya says if the party forms government, the public holiday would be to honour Fijian women’s contribution in the country.

“I am deeply passionate about women’s rights as I believe that empowering our mothers, daughters and sisters will make us a stronger nation,” Ms Tabuya said.

“Having a national day for women, as advocated by Mr Rabuka (Sitiveni Rabuka), will represent part of a wider initiative towards promoting gender equality and securing women’s rights.”

She said women in Fiji were vulnerable. “The laws of the land must be changed to provide better protection in the area of violence against women and girls. The comprehensive recommendations put forward by the ‘Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women’ (CEDAW, 2016) is a good place to start in formulating policies that will make a meaningful impact.

“Having a national day of women wouldn’t be a commercialised day of merrymaking, but instead can be a day where attention to these issues are brought to the national forefront in a reverent spirit of bridging the divide.

“A day to reflect and appreciate the immense contribution of women in Fiji and the steps needed to protect and encourage them.”

Ms Tabuya said the national day would be one where children would be taught the roles that their mothers play in society.

“A day where youths can be encouraged to participate in workshops around the country with oratory and essay competitions on women’s issues.

“A day where women can gather in marches and rallies around the country to educate them on their rights and to push for legislative changes.

“While I acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done, having a day dedicated to the strong women of this country will be a small but important step in becoming the change we want to see in the world.”