Fiji Time: 12:50 PM on Monday 30 November

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Safer streets for women, girls

Mere Naleba
Sunday, March 09, 2014

FIJI Women's Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali believes a march alone cannot reduce sexual assault and sexual harassment against women and children although it gives the subject visibility.

"There are a lot of other things that need to happen for us to drastically bring down the numbers," Ms Ali said.

Ms Ali said every member of the public had a role to play in protecting women and children against these problems and a holistic approach was needed to make the streets safer for the females.

With this year's reclaiming the night march theme stopping sexual assault and sexual harassment against women and girls, Ms Ali said the march was directed at making the nightclubs and dark streets safer for women and girls.

"There is a lot of harassment against women and girls in the nightclubs, in the streets as well as, this march is directed towards the clubs and dark streets," she said.

"Though we know that this is not the only place that these kinds of things tend to happen.

"When we say reclaim we are trying to promote safe streets for women and girls".

The march featured women, men and children marching from the Suva Flea Market to Sukuna Park last night with placards, banners, and charts bearing stop sexual harassment and assault messages.

While those in the Suva area and neighbouring areas met in Suva for the Central Division reclaiming the night march, women in the Western Division participated in a candlelight vigil at the Nadi Civic Centre which started simultaneously with the march in Suva.

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