At a conference for the Pacific STI and HIV Research Centre, it was revealed that women in the region are in submissive relationships or marriages where they do not have a say in issues that affect them, like contraception.According to reports by Fiji Times Online, Fiji School of Medicine lecturer, Litiana Kudridrani, stated at the conference last week that when it comes to a choice in contraceptives, women are public property, submissive to their husbands because of the traditional role of the man being the decision maker.
She stated that women could not choose the type of contraceptive because they could be accused of having an affair and that there was also the risk of violence.
ou cannot negotiate when and how to have sex, you cannot choose family planning - although you are going to use the family planning method you have to ask your husband so to me, my view of it is that women are public property whether he is your lover or husband," she said.
"In the case of tubal ligation in Fiji, the husband has to sign - why do they have to sign for something that concerns your body? Sometimes in that signing there is a dictatorial, where women don't have the liberty to choose the number of children they want or the type of family planning."
According to the reports, a women's activist in Fiji, Fiji Women's Crisis Centre co-ordinator, Shamima Ali, agreed with the comments saying that they have said it for years, especially in cases where women live in violent relationships, they can't negotiate.
She states that majority of the married women in Fiji did not have a say in issues of sex and contraceptive
"Once the woman gets married she becomes her husband's property, who decides when she has children.
"Professional women have a say and can decide, but majority of our women do not have a say when it comes to things like these."