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News and Views: Australia and Oceania

Australia: Minorities fear their cultures smeared by reports of domestic violence

April 17, 2012

Joumanah El Matrah, from the Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights, said when groups tried to draw the government's attention to violence against minority women the discussion was hijacked by those in the wider public who focused on "Muslim" violence.

Papua New Guinea: Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women calls for accountability for gender violence

March 26, 2012

PORT MORESBY (26 March 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo called* on the Government of Papua New Guinea to reinforce legal and support mechanisms in its fight to eradicate violence against women. At the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country, Ms. Manjoo also urged the authorities to address some of the traditional practices that are harmful to women.

USA: Bishop urges change in 'church teaching concerning all sexual relationships'

March 16, 2012

BALTIMORE -- At the Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality, retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson called Friday for "a new study of everything to do with sexuality" -- a kind of study that he predicted "would have a profound influence on church teaching concerning all sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual."

"If [church] teaching on homosexual acts is ever to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," he said.

Violence against women, Papua New Guinea's "silent war"

February 2, 2012

Aid workers say a combination of poverty, lack of education and an entrenched patriarchal system may explain the horrific levels of violence against women in Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea: Violence Against Women Accused of Sorcery

December 6, 2011
The belief in black magic, sorcery, evil spirits and witches is widespread in the Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea: this superstition is called Saguma.

Papua New Guinea: Police Cite Bride Price Major Factor in Marital Violence

November 21, 2011

Bride price is the major contributing factor today that’s why married men feel they can do anything to their wives, a senior Papua New Guinea police officer says. Minj police station commander Horim Piamia said many men regarded their wives as materials they bought from a shop and not as their partners.

Australia: Aboriginal & African Women Leaders Meet to Share Culture & Social Issues

October 27, 2011

Aboriginal and African leaders have come together for a historic meeting at Murdoch University. The meeting, which occurred yesterday morning, was the first time the two cultures had met on an official level.

Australia: Court Action Against Forced Marriage of Girl

September 30, 2011

An Australian court has placed a 16-year-old girl on the airport watch list to prevent an arranged marriage taking place in Lebanon.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, applied to the Federal Magistrates Court for an order to restrain her parents from taking her out of Australia to marry a man she had met only once.

The girl, given the pseudonym Ms Madley by the court, approached the Legal Aid Commission after her parents organised the wedding despite her telling them that she did not want to go to Lebanon and did not want to marry the man.

Australia’s Honour killings – In the end, they’re just as dead

July 11, 2011

James Ramage was released from prison last Friday, after only eight years following his conviction for strangling and bashing his wife, Julie, to death in their house and burying her in a shallow grave. The details of the case reveal a textbook case of a controlling, abusive spouse who killed his wife rather than let her leave.

Fiji: Police Shut down Fiji Women's Rights Movement birthday retreat

July 20, 2011

Police closed down the Fiji’s Women’s Rights Movement’s (FWRM) retreat and planning at the Pearl resort in Pacific harbor this morning. At around 9.30am, a police officer, known as Tomu, from the Central Investigation Department asked the hotel event coordinator whether FWRM had a permit. The information was relayed to the FWRM Executive Director, Virisila Buadromo, who informed him that the event was an internal FWRM planning.

Australia: A push for sharia

May 17, 2011


THE nation's peak Muslim group is using the Gillard government's re-embracing of multiculturalism to push for the introduction of sharia in Australia, but it says it would be a more moderate variety of Islamic law that fits with Australian values.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the government's new multiculturalism policy, argues that Muslims should enjoy "legal pluralism".

Fiji: The Many Faces of Violence against Women

December 7, 2010


FemLINK Pacific's 16 Days of Community Radio Campaign continues to serve as a platform for local women to speak out on issues that are connected to the annual women's human rights campaign which brings global attention to the many faces of violence, including the silence that is perpetuated because of political, institutional and social structures: