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Ali insists political parties make stand clear

Dawn Gibson
Monday, May 05, 2014

IN welcoming the 2014 General Election, the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) insists that all political parties or individual candidates make clear their position on human rights and the status of women in Fiji.

FWCC executive director Shamima Ali said this meant detailing exactly how women would be incorporated better into the workplace for example, or how exactly the party would work towards providing equal rights for everybody in Fiji.

"The protection of human rights requires accountable democratic government, adherence to the rule of law and constitutionality," Ms Ali said.

"Women in Fiji continue to face challenges in all aspects of development. Women are significantly underrepresented in the political decision-making process, there is marginal representation of women in senior decision-making capacities in the private sector, including manufacturing, banking and tourism."

She said given that the Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) set out by the 2009 decree was not independent of the government, it was ineffective as an independent mechanism for the people of Fiji to challenge human rights abuses by the state.

"Over the years, the FWCC has noted with regret the deterioration of the FHRC from a once fully accredited vibrant and functioning national human rights institutions to a non-compliant entity with limited public profile, unable to play any significant role in the promotion of human rights in Fiji."

She is pleading with political parties to take note of these issues throughout their candidacy and question whether the elected government will, post-elections, address these issues.

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