Suva: Fiji is facing an epidemic of violence against women and girls in both public and private spaces, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said on Thursday.
While speaking at a high-level media briefing and launching a National Action Plan to prevent violence against women and girls, Akbar said almost one in three girls is physically or sexually abused after the age of 15 in the South Pacific island country, reports Xinhua news agency.
She noted that two out of three women in Fiji have experienced domestic violence by their intimate partners.
One out of five women suffers sexual harassment in their workplace.
The Minister also said, citing a research by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, that almost two in 10 girls experience sexual abuse in the island nation before they are 15 years old.
The National Action Plan will be a roadmap for Fiji to meaningfully stop violence against all women and girls, said Akbar.
She added that even she was a victim of domestic violence when growing up and urged Fijians to speak openly on the issue in order to help in reducing the violence against women and children.
Akbar stressed that worldwide evidence demonstrates that the violence against women and girls is preventable if an evidence-based, whole population approach is adopted.