WOMEN need the same sort of attention as men and children in strengthening their rights in their various communities.
Government has either tightened Fiji's laws or introduced new ones to give Fijian women an unprecedented level of protection, says the Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama while launching the country's first National Women's Expo in Suva yesterday.
Rear Admiral Bainimarama said the government had strengthened the rights of women who lived in de facto relationships.
"We have removed the old Victorian rules for corroboration of rape. No longer does a rape victim's sexual history have any bearing on the case, nor is bulubulu accepted to simply let the perpetrators of crimes free," Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama said.
"Our criminal laws are now modern and gender neutral and we have worked hard to modernise all our laws to make sure they reflect equality between men and women.
"The Fijian Constitution says that all Fijians are equal, no matter where they are born, their race, their age or their gender."
He said the Constitution clearly stated no person could be discriminated against, directly or indirectly, on account of his or her gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.
"It is one thing to change laws, it's quite another to change mind-sets. Government cannot do this alone."