Here we go again . . . tiptoeing around the sensitive issue of women's rights, and violence against women in Tonga (Break the silence . . . Tonga still debating CEDAW . . . March 8, 2013). I don't believe there's silence about the mistreatment of women in Tonga. It's all over the news, and the World Wide Web.
With all due respects, Hon Frederica Tuita may have missed the mark with Her challenge to "break the silence that allows violence . . ." on women in Tonga. May I suggest a more succinct phraseology: "Let's break the ignorance of women's God-given rights in Tonga." Women have the rights to all privileges bestowed upon men . . . by men. No government can grant or take away a human being's God-given rights.
Male domination an anachronism
Our male-dominant Polynesian culture facilitates perpetuating the men's superiority mindset, which has become acceptable in the culture. This out-dated notion is keeping the lie alive. According to Leninism, they taught that telling a lie often enough, it will become truth.
Church leaders are also responsible for proclaiming this male superiority complex over women. Even Christ updated some of Moses's teachings with Jews who rejected the Savior's wisdom.
Using the Greeks' logic of God's ascending order: place your daughter, or sister, or wife, next to a rock; then to a pig; then next to a human being; which is she most dignified by?
A constitutional amendment must be made to the land tenure law in Tonga. Women are as much right to a tax allotment title as men. We cannot wait for politicians' hearts and minds to be made up. I believe in the philosophy of "changing the environment to alter attitudes, and behaviors."
It will certainly change the culture. After all, a culture is only what the people agreed to practice. There's nothing sacred or sacrilegious about making changes.
Lack of land not the problem
Some politicians are just not intelligent enough, therefore, they want to subject the rest of us to the same disadvantage. They claim there's not enough land in Tonga to go around for women having the same rights as men. Who decides if there's enough land to go around, anyway?
How about reasoning by comparison? With the same amount of land mass as Tonga, how is it that the city-country of Singapore can feed 5-million people, but Tonga is worried about 100,000 people?
Tonga should be one of the first countries to ratify CEDAW.
Sione Akemeihakau Mokofisi, MBA
samokofisi [at] email [dot] phoenix [dot] edu