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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

06 March 2019

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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Edge Effect & FWRM PR: Edge Effect and FWRM host Gender workshop to promote women’s representation in all their diversities 6/03/19

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Press Release: Edge Effect and FWRM host Gender workshop to promote women’s representation in all their diversities

6/03/19

As part of International Women’s Day commemoration, Edge Effect and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) organised a 2-day training workshop on Transformative Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) that took place from Tuesday 5 March to Wednesday 6 March in Suva.

The workshop funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Fiji Women’s Fund was in response to the fact that vulnerabilities of marginalised women are often exacerbated in disasters, emergencies and crisis and as there remains significant gender inequality across Fiji, though the extent differs greatly in different contexts.

Overall there are substantial barriers to women’s equality, evident in current social norms, values and practices, influenced by the colonial past and the impact of ‘modernisation’. There are political and power dimensions to gender inequality which intersect with current underlying beliefs. Lack of consistent and sufficient policy commitment and program investment toward gender equality goals and support services for women has contributed to the poor status of women.

“This is not new information, and work by dedicated Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) professionals in Fiji focusing on women is both inspiring and ongoing”, said Lana Woolf from Edge Effect. “However, it has become more apparent that heteronormative, cisnormative and binary assumptions may exclude some women-identifying people from gender programs”.

“Through our work, we know that sexual and gender minorities and women living with disabilities are substantially left out of development programs and projects and disaster preparedness, relief, and recovery phases,” said FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh. “The vulnerability of women in all their diversity, and other sexual and gender minorities results from varying levels of marginalisation in family, community, faith, schools, workplaces, service delivery organisations, public spaces, and other institutional contexts. Existing GESI frameworks, policy and good practice guidelines frequently fail to address of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics as well as disabilities perhaps making tokenistic mention for the need to consult.”

The workshop brought together 18 gender experts from different organisations which combined lessons and hands-on training, delivering knowledge and skill development for GESI professionals with experience in project and program development and implementation within humanitarian or community development programs.

The two-day training culminates with a public forum on ‘Creating Balance in Gender Justice - including LGBTIQ+ People in Gender Equality’ that will be held tonight at the Holiday Inn in Suva from 6.30 to 9.00pm.

For more information please contact FWRM Communications Officer Maryann Lockington This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..fj or 8677330