Ali surprised at number of men who justified beating

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU/FILE

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali says she is very surprised at the low number of men who justified wife beating as reported in the Fiji Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.

She said it was difficult to make sense of the data because Fiji has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world at 64 per cent, compared to the global average of 30 per cent.

According to the survey, 24 per cent of women compared to 21.1 per cent of men justified wife beating on the basis of going out without telling her husband, neglecting the children, arguing with her husband, refusing to have sex and burning food.

“As an organisation that has been working in this space for the last 38 years, 21.1 per cent of men justifying wife beating is surprising,” Ms Ali said.

“If it is true then why are continuing to see very high rates of domestic violence.”

Last year, the FWCC reported 6864 domestic violence cases and from January to May this year, there have been 526 reported cases.

Ms Ali said she was not surprised at the 24 per cent of women who justified wife beating.

“Women live in a society which tells them over and over again that they are at fault so they blame themselves.

“The guilt is there and they have internalised that and believe that.

“It just shows us as an organisation that there is still a lot of work to be done to change mind-sets.”

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