Women groups condemn gang rape in weathercoast

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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

VOIS Blo Mere Solomon (VBMS) and Women for Peace Network in Solomon Islands have strongly condemned the recent gang rape of a 13-year-old girl in weathercoast, Guadalcanal.

This was in response to the news report bearing the headline; “South Guadalcanal rape case disclosed in court”, in the Solomon Star newspaper.

According to the statement of VBMS and the Women for Peace Network in SI, age alone is not an excuse, culprits must take on the responsibility for their actions as a lesson for everyone. No girls or women deserve to be raped or sexually harassed.

VBMS and the Women for Peace Network in SI says over the past two decades, mothers have constantly spoken out against all forms of violence during meetings, consultations, peace programmes, peace vigils and prayers, annual campaigns as well as using the media.

“Their voices have also been highlighted and documented in chapter ten of the TRC report and the SI National Action Plan for Women for Peace and Security launched this year.

“We have provided to our best knowledge of our local context the best way forward for SI in peace building.

“They say they have spoken in the past and will continue to speak out against all forms of violence of any kind towards women and girls.”

The statement calls on the Government and all peace and security stakeholders to act now by providing resources towards these frameworks and plans of action is very important to show seriousness in addressing all forms of violence in our country.

“When this happens many of the underlying issues identified such as gender inequality, human rights and responsibilities, gender and social norms and attitudes and behaviours of families in SI see change happening.

“We also call on all peace loving peace people of SI to take responsibility in ensuring that girls and women in all communities in Solomon are safe by providing safe and secured environments and continue to speak out against all forms of violence. They say it is time to act.”

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