Fiji NGO Coalition on CEDAW submits Parallel Report
Despite efforts towards eliminating all forms of discrimination against Women, Fiji’s progress in addressing gender inequality is limited.
This was part of the CEDAW Parallel Report submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women by a coalition of Fiji NGOs and CSOs in June 2017.
The NGO Coalition on CEDAW’s Parallel Report 2017 complements Fiji’s 5th State Report submitted in June last year for the Committee’s consideration at the 69th CEDAW Session.
“There were concerns that the State’s report did not accurately portray the still-grim reality of women’s human rights in Fiji,” said Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh.
CEDAW was ratified by Fiji in 1995 and since then FWRM has been monitoring its implementation in Fiji and the compilation of the shadow report.
The Report called for a stronger commitment from government to comply with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
The Parallel Report responded directly to the State’s Report focusing on Articles: 1 Discrimination, 2 Eliminating discrimination, 3 Measure to guarantee comprehensive advances by women, 5 Sex roles and stereotype, 6 Exploitation of women, 11 Employment, 12 Health, 14 Rural Women and 16 Marriage and Family Life.
It highlighted progress markers, including the adoption of Fiji’s 2013 Constitution and holding its first elections in 2014 since the 2006 coup. Additionally, the report indicated advances made in legislation and policies to improve gender parity, with mentions of the National Gender Policy and the Domestic Violence Act.
“However, according to the Parallel Report, the reforms are far outweighed by the existing and entrenched discrimination against women. The report cites the high prevalence of gender-based violence in society as evidence of the State’s lack of compliance to CEDAW,” said Singh.
The Parallel Report highlighted gaps in existing legislation that further contributed to gender inequality and hindered significant positive change.
As part of the report recommendations, the NGO Coalition called for more support and resources towards existing reformative efforts to improve women’s rights issues, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. According to the report, Fiji is failing to meet the obligations that CEDAW required and there must be more substantial efforts to improve this.
The Parallel Report is supported by Citizen’s Constitutional Forum (CCF), Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA) Fiji, femLINKpacific, Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation, National Union for Commercial Factory Workers, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), Haus of Khameleon, Pacific Sexual and Reproductive Health Centre, Pacific Disability Forum, and Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei.