Pro-CEDAW petition presented to Tonga parliament

A petition has been presented to the Tonga parliament backing the government’s efforts to ratify the United Nation’s Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW.

Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, the director of the Women’s and Children’s Crisis Centre, stated in an interview with Radio New Zealand that there are plenty of people who do support the empowerment of women.

According to Guttenbeil Likiliki, 13 NGOs have come together under the Civil Society Forum to show their support for CEDAW.

She says that even though the group doesn’t have the resources of local churches which have mobilised against CEDAW,  representatives from these NGOs will sign the petition.

Two MPs, Fe’ao Vakata the Minister of Internal Affairs, and Semisi Sika, had signed the petition.

Guttenbeil Likiliki says the petition letter, addressed to the speaker Lord Tu’ivakano, states CEDAW will not undermine Tongan attitudes to abortion and same sex marriage.

She says these two issues are not spelled out in CEDAW nor are they hidden within some other clauses of the convention as has been claimed by its opponents.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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