SUVA, Fiji—The Fiji Women’s Crisis Center commemorated World Human Rights Day and the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women on Friday, highlighted by a march through Suva along with members of the NGO Coalition on Human Rights, activists and supporters from the public.
The march from Suva Flea Market to Sukuna Park gathered some 200 people from various organizations and backgrounds to mark the day.
Speaking at the end of the march, FWCC coordinator Shamima Ali said there were two absolutes in life—freedom and death—and that she would do whatever it took to ensure freedom and human rights for all, even if it was a struggle at times.
Friday also marked the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women. It is the period in the year when activism against gender-based violence is stepped up to highlight the continuing scourge across the world.
During this time, FWCC and its branches around Fiji heighten their activism to highlight the different forms of violence against women that is still so prevalent in all communities.
Before the human rights march, Ali spoke at a community event in Delainavesi outside Suva where about 25 people who live in Kaudamu and Kauvula roads gathered for a fitness activity.
Ali spoke about the high rates of all forms of violence against women and girls in Fiji and the role of men and boys can play in eliminating them through behavioral change.
She encouraged the community to take steps to ensure women and girls are able to live lives free from violence.
“Do not be a bystander,” Ali said, encouraging everybody to respond to violence against women by supporting survivors and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Later in the morning Ali opened the Mid West Volleyball Tournament in Raiwaqa, Suva. The tournament was organized by male advocate for women’s human rights Josh Tulele and sponsored by Fiji Women’s Crisis Center.
The tournament had the theme “violence against women not in my game plan” and gathered more than 100 players from around Suva.
Ali was part of the founding group of 23 women’s rights activists from around the world who conceived the campaign in 1991 at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the United States. (PR)