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and against violence and discrimination against women and girls. Because of press censorship, she says people don't know about the violations of civil and human rights that take place. State Department this month honored Deo as a Woman of Courage. Nominated by the American Embassy in Fiji, she was one of 10 emerging female leaders selected from around the world and recognized in Washington for her leadership in advocating for human rights, women's quality, and social progress.Deo came to Des Moines this week on an invitation from the Iowa International Center, with support from the Sehgal Family Foundation Center for International Visitors. Rolex Just Date

she wrote to the newspaper accusing police of not abiding by the country's anti domestic violence decree, the government came after her. "They were trying to charge me under the 'hate crimes' decree for inciting disaffection," she said. The case is still under investigation.There are plenty of female lawyers in Fiji, but Deo claims "they all have the same socialization." In elections, women tend to vote for whoever their husbands and fathers tell them to, she says. Asked how she overcame such socialization, Deo said, "I'm a survivor of gender based violence. You come to a point where 'I've had it. I'm not going to take it anymore.' It just happens so frequently to people you know and love and care for."Whatever happens in these elections, a spirit of resistance has been uncorked in Fiji, as in so many countries of late, that won't easily be put back in the bottle. With instant mobilization now possible through social media, they are drawing inspiration from each other and from us.

Outgoing and energetic, she says her primary constituency is women and young people. "I don't waste my time with (older) men. They don't accept me."Deo studied law and microbiology in Australia until money ran short. She worked for a nongovernmental organization advocating for women in the region where women hold only 3 percent of seats in parliament. But she was forced to resign when she decided to run.Since then, she has been doing unpaid political organizing. In a country where power is currently held by the rich and indigenous people, the Indo Fijian says she's disdained as a commoner. Running as an independent, she says it would take $75,000 to wage a viable campaign, which she has little hope of raising. But she's less concerned with winning than with creating a "culture of civil resistance."She has challenged the national police, claiming they don't go after perpetrators of violence against women, but tend to blame the victims. After a lesbian friend was raped by a man claiming he would turn her straight, police refused to prosecute him, even though there was physical evidence taken at a hospital, Deo says. But after Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39

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´╗┐Courageous Fijian draws strength on trip to U

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A more timid woman might flee from such tactics intended to discourage her from running. But Deo is not only fearless, she's fed up.Fed up with 80 percent of Fijian women being victims of violence, including every single friend of hers. Fed up with the justifications from some of the country's largest church leaders, Christian and Hindu. Fed up with "corrective" rapes of perceived lesbians and intimidation of dissenters under a military dictatorship, which in 2006 replaced a functioning democracy.The South Pacific island nation of 820,000 became independent of the British in 1970, with a parliamentary style democracy. But the most recent Nike Vapormax Zero coup led to suspension of the constitution, and even the courts are under military control, Deo says. The first democratic elections since 2006 are promised for this fall.An outspoken government critic, Deo is leading a grass roots "Be the Change" campaign, for democracy Rolex 118135

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