Thursday May 30, 2013
PRESS RELEASE - Support for women in sports
Women athletes in Fiji and around the world are still trying to find their place in the typically masculine domain of sport. Without funding support, political will and solidarity from all stakeholders, it is nearly impossible for women to take part and progress in any sport.
These sentiments were expressed by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, as they proudly presented jerseys to the Central Chiefs Women’s Rugby Club today.
“We know it has been a hard journey for the club and we commend the team and its management for continuing to persevere. There is a huge disparity in the treatment of female and male athletes, especially when it comes to contact sports like rugby, but we cannot let that stop us from resisting inequality”, said FWRM Executive Director Virisila Buadromo.
Coordinator of DIVA Shirley Tagi, congratulated the Central Chiefs for their commitment to excellence and development of women's rugby in Fiji and recognising the importance of working on wider issues of gender equality and social justice for diverse women and girls.
“There is very important work to be done by all in Fiji, not just women's NGO's and the State. DIVA really values our growing partnerships with Central Chiefs and other women's sports groups, and also FWRM as feminist allies in this ongoing work. We also look forward to many young women joining us in our upcoming 2013-2014 sports programme ‘Come out & Play’”, she said.
Around two months ago, FWRM held a brief awareness session for members of the club, on promoting women’s political participation in Fiji through Temporary Special Measures (TSM).
According to longtime club supporter and member Arietta Tuitoga, the athletes and the rest of the club members could clearly draw linkages of this into the sporting area. They understood how TSMs could possibly be used as a measure to counter the current power imbalance between female and male athletes.
The club will be taking part in the Marist Sevens Tournament from May 30th – June 1st, 2013.
Both FWRM and DIVA encourage members of the public to come out and support women in sports.
The feminist movement also thanks Australian AID for their assistance in funding the production of the rugby jerseys.
Pictures of the jersey presentation can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.520258768037470.1073741829.165916483471702&type=3