FWRM and FWCC want the name-change policy removed

FWRM and FWCC want the name-change policy removed

By Vijay Narayan , Mosese Raqio
Monday 01/05/2023
[Photo: FWCC]

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre have called for the repealing of the current Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act.

The women’s NGOs led by FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh and Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali made their joint submission during the government consultation today.

They say the new laws are gender discriminatory because they disproportionately impact married women’s right to choose the names by which they wish to be known, in a way that is different from men and unmarried women.

They also say the name change policy places significant burdens on married women as it forces married women to spend large amounts of time visiting the government offices to formally change their name, or if they decide not to formally change their name to their registered name, they would similarly have to take even more significant amounts of time to change several other important legal registrations and documents.


They add that the new law threatens married women’s legal and political rights and also restrict the freedom of choice that they previously had. They say the policy serves no legitimate purpose, breach married women’s right to privacy and cultural identity, and also breach the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and human rights international norms.

They further add that Fiji is a party to the CEDAW, ratified in 1995 which means that the Fiji government recognises that women have been historically and systemically disadvantaged in all spheres compared to men, including legal rights and political life.

The two NGOs say they strongly recommend that the new laws be repealed as the state has provided no justification that the new laws were necessary, reasonable, or proportionate, nor did it provide justification on the impact that it had on married women.

Under the law, married women have to include their husband’s surname in their birth certificate if they wish to use their husband’s name after marriage.

Many women have labelled the law as stupid and ridiculous as it shows total disrespect to women who were forced to put their husband’s name on their birth certificate.

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Being obese and not exercising and being i-Taukei men in Fiji puts you at high risk of diabetes – Dr Qereqeretabua
The General Surgeon at CWM Hospital, Doctor Timoci Qereqeretabua says from a research conducted at the CWM Hospital, they have found that i-Taukei men...
49 minutes ago
Vateitei wins second gold in Women’s V1 marathon
Team Fiji Va’a captain Elenoa Vateitei has won her second gold medal at the Pacific Games winning the Women’s V1 marathon. Vateitei secured ...
27 minutes ago

Karan not taking part in the 1,500m, his focus turns to the 3,000m and half marathon
Team Fiji’s golden boy, Yeshnil Karan will not run in the 1,500 metres event in the Pacific Games tonight. Karan will concentrate on his ...
54 minutes ago

Dreams come true for Josua Niu after winning the World GIS Day Tertiary Competition
20-year-old Nakasaleka, Kadavu man, Josua Niu's dream to have his own laptop to support his studies for a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, has come ...
2 hours ago

1,968 cases of child abuse reported in 2022
The statistics from 2022 paint a stark picture with 1,968 reported cases of child abuse and neglect in Fiji. Acting Minister for Women, Children ...
2 hours ago

Fiji Men’s team makes unbeaten run to semi finals after 5-3 win over PNG in final pool match
Team Fiji Men’s hockey side is through to the semi finals after beating PNG 5-3 in their final pool match of the 2023 Pacific Games this ...
2 hours ago
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
8 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
14 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
18 days ago