Action needed on violence against women - Amnesty
Wed, 07 Sep 2011 4:39a.m.
Amnesty International and women’s groups are calling for Pacific leaders to take action against violence against women in the region.
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is currently being held in Auckland, and leaders from countries in the region are holding discussions on issues affecting the area.
Two out of three female Pacific Islanders are affected by violence, Amnesty International says, and more action needs to be taken to lower the statistics.
Amnesty New Zealand chief executive Patrick Holmes says the organisation is calling on PIF attendees to implement existing legislation aimed at preventing violence against women, and ensure that police and prosecutors investigate and prosecute alleged perpetrators.
The group says they spoke to women in the Solomon Islands who had been physically or sexually abused, but were too frightened to make formal complaints to the authorities for fear of reprisals from their attackers. Others said their complaints were ignored.
Mr Holmes says Pacific leaders “must turn words into action in Auckland by ensuring their governments respect, protect and fulfil the rights of women to live free from violence and discrimination".
Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP) held a panel discussion yesterday to discuss the challenges and strategies to combat sexual and gender-based violence in the Pacific and how advocacy can be used to meet these challenges.
Panel Chair and Director of Family Planning International Sumi Subramaniam hopes the panel will highlight “effective solutions to addressing this problem and provide real hope that Pacific women will receive the protections they deserve”.
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