FIJI yesterday joined a global campaign — One Billion Rising — to try to end rape and violence against women and girls.
Co-ordinator for One Billion Rising campaign Roshika Deo said the name of the campaign came from an estimate of the number of women and girls in the world who suffered violence and rape during their lifetime.
And to mark the important event, hundreds of men and women marched from Suva's Gordon St to Sukuna Park with posters and banners calling for an end to violence against women and girls.
She said in Fiji, rape and violence against women and girls was worst when compared to what was happening globally.
"In Fiji, we have three in every five women who are raped and beaten up," Ms Deo said.
She said about 200 countries including Fiji participated in the event — dancing, marching, walking, sharing stories and making pledges — to shake humanity into consciousness and bring about the revolution needed to end the crisis.
"People have lost humanity and their thinking towards women and girls have gone worse. We want the world to change," Ms Deo said.
Ms Deo said women and girls in Fiji were tired and had had enough suffering.
"It is time to break the culture of silence, it is about challenging status quo, where the rape culture and where domestic violence has become the norm, is being treated as the norm."
She said women's status in the society had been lowered because of the gender imbalance in the country.
"We have been neglected. Addressing the issue of violence against women and girls are as important as addressing the issues of climate change," Ms Deo said.
She said she was hopeful that yesterday's event would defy the rape culture and try to break the culture of silence that was so prevalent on issues of violence against girls and women.