Jocelynne Scutt on exclusion of women in group investigating coup in Fiji

Human rights lawyer Jocelynne Scutt has a wonderful opinion piece out about the importance of including women in the Eminent Persons Group that has been tasked with investigating the recent coup in Fiji. Prior to the coup, women were a very important part of the effort to stop the government takeover. It is quite ironic that the name “Eminent Persons Group” is gender-neutral but yet no women are included, which is all too typical in commissions of this sort. Scutt writes,

“Not a single woman figures in the Eminent Persons Group lineup. To anyone living in the 21st century, this should be an obvious omission for many reasons.

Not the least is that many wise and powerful women are a part of the Pacific nations making up the Forum. Equally obvious, Fijian women – wise and powerful themselves – have a right to know that their issues, concerns, perceptions and understandings vis-à-vis the coup, their country and the way for the future will be paid proper attention.”

Scutt goes on to explain very eloquently why this is a violation of United Nations Resollution 1325 which mandates, “the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building” and why it important that this be rectified.

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