May 18, 2014 10:51:05 AM
Dr Mere Samisoni, Social Democractic Liberal Party official has labelled comments by Women’s Minister Dr Jiko Luveni as “thinking from the dark ages.”
In a news report on Friday, Dr Luveni was quoted as saying that that “women should dress modestly and help men in the national campaign to cut down sex crimes” and that “if a girl is going out to drink with guys in an isolated area wearing shorts or clothes showing off her body, she is inviting trouble.”
Dr Samisoni said thinking as such has no place in today’s society.
“Blaming the victim and suggesting that it is women, and not the men who should take responsibility for avoiding possible abuse, is thinking from the dark ages and has no place in our society today,” Dr Samisoni said.
“Such utterances from a government minister and a woman at that, is absurd and she is in effect making excuses for the behaviour of men in the presence of women.”
She pointed out that both men and women must be held to a standard of behaviour in mixed company and basic good manners and respect for each other is a minimum level of behaviour for all.
“A girl or women’s choice and style of dress must never be used as an excuse for anyone to commit such a heinous crime against women and children,” Dr Samisoni said.
National Federation Party leader Dr Biman Prasad also joined in the chorus, calling on Dr Luveni to apologise to the local women community.
He also suggested that Dr Luveni “ought to teach men to respect women.”
Meanwhile, in a media statement issued late Friday evening, Dr Luveni denied saying that victims of rape were to be blamed, adding that her comments were distorted.
She said it was “unfortunate and regrettable that her fundamental belief was distorted in the media coverage.”
By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari