‘Need to dismantle patriarchal beliefs’

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FWCC coordinator Shamima Ali, during the Editors Dialogue at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

Patriarchal beliefs of male, heterosexual dominance lie at the root of gender-based violence, says Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

She shared these sentiments during an Editors Dialogue organised by the FWCC in partnership with the Fijian Media Association yesterday.

Ms Ali said there was a need to dismantle the patriarchal system to achieve equality and reduce violence.

“The patriarchy has allowed a lot of inequality, power imbalance, where men feel entitled to violate women’s rights,” she said.

She said it was shocking to witness the belittling comments and attitudes of young and educated men towards women.

“Men feel a sense of entitlement which also creates a lot of imbalance in power, the power in controlling, invested in men.”

She said because of the norms followed by different societies, the cause of violence is mainly placed on women.

“There has been a norm, a belief system whereby if a man beats or abuses his wife, the blame is put on her while the man is considered to have the right to abuse.”

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