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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Intergenerational Leadership & Movement Building

Movement building is a critical component of our work as we engage with diverse women and representatives of various organisations that do similar work on gender equality and the recognition of women’s human rights in Fiji and across the Pacific. FWRM believes in partnerships and movement building for women of all diversity in Fiji. We recognise the organisation’s 32-year herstory and the work of our members and fellow civil society counterparts that has gone and continues to happen to realise human rights, rule of law, democracy and women’s human rights.


GIRLS Lead

Young girls face double discrimination: for being very young and female. They are often left vulnerable with their issues and concerns overlooked. Their right to voice their opinions are often hindered by various social barriers evidenced from FWRM findings.These are further exacerbated by disasters and times of crisis where girls living with disabilities would face a further disadvantage to fully realising their human rights.

Since 2007, FWRM has linked the celebration of International Women’s Day to an event that targets girls. This has led to the establishment of a GROW. INSPIRE. RELATE.LEAD. SUCCEED-GIRLS programme, a pioneering Girls feminist programme in the Pacific.

The GIRLS programme has increased visibility of the girl child through innovative means to engage and introduce young girls between the ages of 10-17 years to human rights education, gender, feminism and sports that are traditionally male dominated such as soccer, touch rugby and sevens rugby.

Some of the GIRLS activities include Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights sessions, writing and video editing skills workshops, Day Camps, themed weekend camps and using art as a form of activism.

Currently, the Grow.Inspire.Relate.Lead.Succeed programme is working with Deaf and Hearing girls around the Central division of Fiji. The programme also hosts an annual Girls Forum with the hopes of reaching girls living outside the central division that will in turn substantiate a collective national girl-led advocacy network.

The program hopes to address issues relating to intergenerational dialogue and creating a culture of understanding between girls, young women and women within their communities.

Young Women Feminist Network

The Young Women Feminist Network (YFemN) includes diverse young women between the ages of 16-35 years who are committed towards progressing feminist, gender equality and women’s human rights principles.

Currently the network is made up of recent graduates from the FWRM Grow.Inspire.Relate.Lead.Succeed (GIRLS) and young women programs.

The YFemN aims to further create a rights-based approach to prioritise young women's realities not only within the much-needed young women's spaces but as a national agenda.

Paying it Forward Mentoring (PIF-M) Programme

Helping women advance in their careers is fundamental to achieving gender equality.

The 'Paying It Forward' mentoring programme for mid-career women is delivered through the lens of feminism and gender equality and an opportunity for mentees to navigate the next stages of their careers. The programme was launched in 2021 on International Women's Day in Suva.

Women’s participation in leadership spaces is low and this is why it is crucial that we support women at mid-career levels to help them progress into these spaces.

FWRM hopes that more concerted efforts are made to reflect gender diversity in all leadership spaces and to dismantle patriarchal ideologies that limit women’s participation in decision making.
 

 

 

"If Women Stop, the World Stop Concert"

FWRM joined the Women’s Global Strike (WGS) in August 2019 and launched a month-long social media campaign on Worker’s Rights in Fiji. The demand for a global strike led and owned by women was ignited by feminists, trade unionists and activists at the People’s General Assembly held in 2015, in New York. Since then, the call spread and saw support; in 2017, the Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice supported the call for women’s global strikes started on 8 March. The call for a Women’s Global Strike on 8 March 2020 was initiated by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), a leading network of feminist organisations and grassroots activists in Asia Pacific. A total of 94 organisations across over 30 countries joined the WGS in 2020. Recognising the socio-political challenges of organising a Strike, FWRM, as an APWLD member, decided to be innovative about solidarity action and organised a concert at Sukuna Park.

 The concert featured local artists Laisa Vulakoro, Natalie Raikadroka, Georgina Ledua and other popular local musicians with performances/speeches from partners. FWRM staff joined the strike by closing the office for the full day.  Partners and allies across human rights sectors and the Trade Union joined the Concert in solidarity, choosing to close the office for the full day or for a few hours. The concert titled, “If Women Stop, the World Stops,” brought together over 250 members of the public, partners and allies. A key part to our event is the solidarity with local organisations on understanding what unpaid care work is all about and joining the symbolic strike commemorating IWD. In 2021, the concert was held a second time on IWD and around 150 partners and allies converged in support at Suva’s Sukuna Park. These included local women’s groups’ representatives who travelled from as far as the highlands of Naitasiri and the island of Serua, and from the western side of Fiji. Local female artists graced the stage led by the veteran Laisa Vulakoro. The concert is now a flagship event for FWRM and hundreds of participants show up to support the call to recognise unpaid care work and call out all types of gender injustice.

The WGS Concert provides a reflective and energised space to raise awareness on and highlight the significance of unpaid care work calling for change on all key women’s human rights issues. We also pay tribute to women human rights defenders. It is also an event that recognises and highlights the contributions of women in our families, communities and government.

 

Pacific Feminist Forum

"When women choose the way of freedom

We carry the hope of ALL women with us

We wear the names of the women who walked before us

We become the stories

Passed down through generations

Of the matriarchs who were anchors of the lands and the oceans

Of female deities who wielded both fires and flood

Of the blood they aligned to keep our lineages alive" - Camari Serau

The Pacific Feminist Forum is a transformative space for Pacific feminists to reflect on key issues paramount to gender equality and women’s human rights. The Pacific Feminist Forum is a regional convening for the feminist movement in the region to come together and accelerate regional movement building and strategies. The Forum mobilizes diverse women to share knowledge and experiences, celebrate achievements and strategize for collective action to achieve women’s human rights.The Oceanic Pacific have a common challenge, which is the geographical divide and socio-economic realities of 22 developing Island states. Pacific feminism faces a unique hardship of continuous engagement and solidified efforts as access to resources are scarce, with islands so distant, making physical solidarity difficult, but also an isolation of feminists separated by the world’s largest ocean. Stories of isolation, non-communication and lack of care for each other gives way to the growing resurgence throughout the Pacific in right-wing fundamentalist approaches to dealing with women’s rights and gender equality.

In November 2016 the inaugural PFF was born. Bringing in over 100 pacific feminists at USP Suva, Fiji. This was a time to identify challenges and re-articulating a shared vision, shared strategies, built new and strengthened old alliances. It was the first of its kind and an important one to stock take on our collective issues with the theme “Mapping journeys, Building movements”. An output from the inaugural forum was the Pacific Feminist Charter for Change1, which laid the foundation for regional advocacy. Building on, the 2nd PFF was held in 2019 with 143 feminists with the theme “Sustaining Solidarity, Resistance and Revolution” with the second outcome statement called Pacific Feminist Charter Action Plan. The third PFF was held in May, 2023 for over 150 Pacific feminists.

 

More information is on the PFF page HERE.