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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

03 April 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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Concert Used as Platform for Women’s Voices on International Women’s Day

Concert Used as Platform for Women’s Voices on International Women’s Day

8/03/2023

Hundreds of women’s human rights defenders and advocates, representatives of civil society and non-governmental organisations gathered today at the Fiji Museum verandah at FWRM’s If Women Stop, the World Stops concert to mark International Women’s Day in Suva.

‘What do we want?! Gender Justice! When do we want it?! Now!’ was chanted and echoed throughout the venue as women from intergenerational and diverse backgrounds took the floor to raise their voices and speak about their issues.

The fourth concert to be held by FWRM, the event is used as a platform to highlight barriers faced by women such as unpaid care work and decent work, violence against women and girls, lack of accessibility to services, disability rights and issues and patriarchal ideologies that perpetuate all forms of gender discrimination and injustices.

“We are proud to continue to provide spaces such as the If Women Stop, the World Stops concert to allow women to come and share their lived realities and experiences as well as provide them the chance to sit back, enjoy good music, dance and take the day off from the everyday “work” of being a woman,” FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh said.

Ms Singh also acknowledged veteran musician Laisa Vulakoro, her band and the female musicians that continue to partner with FWRM to hold the concert for the women.

“FWRM has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Laisa and her band and we are proud to have her on board to continue providing entertainment for this flagship event,” Ms Singh said.

FWRM joined the Women’s Global Strike global campaign in August 2019 and organised a solidarity action in the form of a concert on 6th March, 2020. The call for a global feminist strike action was initiated by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD). The concert is now held annually and continues the global strike campaign.

"International Women's Day has is a day for women to demand their rights and this concert is our symbolic strike event against the systematic structures and the patriarchy that continues to be a barrier to women’s progress and gender equality," said Ms Singh.

The concert was supported by the We Rise Coalition.

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