THE Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, Lord Tu’ivakano today received a petition from the Catholic Women’s League in protest against the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women or CEDAW.
Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Church, Lutoviko Finau and two female representatives of the Catholic Women’s League presented the petition to Lord Tu’ivakano at the Legislative Assembly's Conference Room.
This followed an announcement by the Government at the recent UN General Assembly Meeting in New York that Tonga is ready to ratify CEDAW with reservations.
Hundreds of petitioners protested peacefully outside the Parliament compound singing gospel music and hymns while at the same time holding banners.
Some of the slogans on banners say “CEDAW is not for Tonga” and “PM say no to CEDAW”
The protest march organized by the Catholic Women’s League is a joint effort by some churches in the Kingdom.
Tonga’s move to ratify CEDAW is a much hot topic issue of debate on radio and television programs in Tonga. Public opinions on the matter are generated through radio talk back on different radio stations.
Meanwhile the House is yet to deliberate on a document from Government detailing information on CEDAW and Tonga’s statements in the United Nation General Assembly on the controversial convention.