Deo shares ‘media’ coverage experience

Roshika Deo speaking at the Fiji Young Women’s Forum meeting. Picture: LENORA QEREQERETABUA

Feminist and former politician Roshika Deo claimed that in the lead-up to the 2014 General Election where she ran as an independent candidate, she was asked questions by the media that were not put to others gunning for a seat in Parliament.

“When they decided to do some media coverage for me on their radio station, they only asked — what is your stance on legalising abortion, what is your stance on legalising same sex marriage?” she claimed during a young women’s leaders forum held in Suva earlier this month.

“So when we talk about media freedom, we also have to talk about the bias of where the media comes from.

“This is really important especially for our young people and young candidates.”

Also present at the event was National Federation Party member of Parliament Lenora Qereqeretabua. In response to a query from FEMLink Pacific representative Alumeci Bilitaki about the media law, Ms Qereqeretabua said it was time people looked at ways to removing the people who had brought in the legislation.

Ms Bilitaki said a recent study of sexual harassment of female journalists found that businessmen, politicians and community leaders were the most common perpetrators.

“Fiji was ranked one of the lowest in the region due to its toughest media law on this study of sexual harassment of female journalists,” Ms Bilitaki said.

“What can you women in politics do to better the rankings?” Ms Qereqeretabua said the policies needed to change by changing the people that made those laws.

“This is why we need people like all of you here in Parliament,” the NFP MP said. “Because the laws of this country are made by the people in that House.”

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