Q&A: Pacific women are victims of ‘engrained’ culture of domestic violence, says activist
Tuvalu’s former prime minister Enele Sopoaga said men who commit violence against women should be tied “to a coconut tree overnight, and let the mosquitos bite him and see what happens the next morning”.
Mr Sopoaga was responding to a question about violence against women and children and toxic masculinity in the Pacific region during a special episode of Q&A filmed at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji’s capital Suva earlier this afternoon.
The episode focused on issues affecting the Pacific, including climate change, foreign interference and the Pacific’s “deep ties” to Australia.
The question of domestic violence was raised by a member of the audience who asked whether the traditional expectation of a submissive Pacific woman was “a factor for domestic violence or violence against women?”
Virisila Buadromo, a Fijian women’s advocate, said the Government needed to urgently address the “epidemic” of toxic masculinity and “issues around gender inequality”.
However, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he “definitely” has no concern about growing Chinese influence in Fiji, and said it had prompted Australia into action.
“At the end of the day it’s about how you manage your affairs,” he said.
“The leverage argument I think is there … Australia for all these decades has never made finance facilities available to the Pacific for infrastructure development.
“Now we have a smorgasbord of financial institutions to choose from.”