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Parliament

Name changes must be reflected on official documents

September 23, 2021 4:31 am
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum [left] and Opposition MP Salote Radroro [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji]

Parliament has enacted the Interpretation Amendment Bill 2021.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the amendment mandates Fijians to use their birth certificate names when required by written law to provide their names.

Sayed-Khaiyum further stated it addresses possible criminal activities such as fraud and identity theft.

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“The effect of this change is that the married spouses, primarily women that use their spouse’s surname will have to change their name on their birth certificate if they intend to use that name formally.”

Opposition MP Salote Radrodro opposed the changes saying it discriminates against women.

“Some women don’t want to do that so what other choice we have, there is the marriage certificate that has all those information. So this is unnecessary Mr.Speaker. It’s unnecessary and it discriminates our women. Where is the right to choose what name we want to use?”

Sayed-Khaiyum says women still have the right to choose their name but this needs to be reflected on official documents.

“Nobody is forcing anybody to make a choice, in fact, they’ve already made choices. All we are saying to you is whatever choice you have made, just essentially get it legalized”.

The Interpretation Amendment Bill was the third amendment passed by parliament yesterday.

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