The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has commended the Government for securing Moderna vaccines for pregnant women saying that Fiji is indeed one of the privileged countries to have secured this vaccine.
Director Ashwin Raj also says we must not allow discrimination on prohibited grounds such as gender, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation from discouraging women from making an informed decision to get vaccinated.
Raj says we must not allow men and their pride to override the right to life and the health of our mothers, sisters, and daughters.
He adds this is why awareness campaigns currently underway needs to be intensified and sustained for the duration of the vaccination process to allow members of the public to make an informed choice.
Raj further says we must continue to create a safe and an enabling space that empowers women to report without fear if they have been deprived of their right to access the vaccine by their families, religious or community leaders.
Raj says pregnant women, in the context of this pandemic, face vulnerability and marginalization on two grounds: the absence of a vaccine safe and suitable for their condition and the right to bodily autonomy and integrity and the ability to make an informed decision about their health and their bodies because of prevailing patriarchal prejudices.
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