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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

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01 October 2020

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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FWRM launches new research on Ageing women and Poverty in Fiji 1/10/2020

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FWRM launches new research on Ageing women and Poverty in Fiji 

01/10/2020

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement commemorated the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons with the launch of its latest research on ageing women and poverty.

The research, “Ageing Women & Poverty in Fiji: A Preliminary Review of Global to National Commitments” is supported by the Australian Government through the We Rise Coalition. 

This publication presents a global and national profile of ageing women, key frameworks and mechanisms for action, and trends in poverty among ageing women. Efforts to analyse the trend in poverty specifically for older women in Fiji is a gap because of the limited data and research available.

“The analysis stems from FWRM’s 2017 scoping study on the status of ageing women in Fiji. Ageing women face multiple forms of discrimination and violence because of gender inequality throughout their life cycle and this is exacerbated by interlinked ageing issues such as health problems,” said FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh.

A key issue identified from the 2017 study was that ageing women's experience of poverty was significantly high and that many of the women in the study lacked financial autonomy and independence. Additionally, the women in the study stated that physical, emotional, psychological, and socio-economic support declined as people aged, leaving older women more vulnerable.

According to the newly released research, women currently outlive men by 4.8 years. This global gender gap is expected to narrow over the next three decades but not significantly. Additionally, older women are the majority of older persons in Fiji making ageing by majority a woman’s experience.

“In order to address the gendered impacts of ageing and the interlinked intersectional issues, it’s essential to strengthen social protection systems and schemes in Fiji to be comprehensive and gender-responsive,” said Ms Singh.

Fiji has international obligations to protect women’s human rights throughout their life cycle such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. 

“This is imperative now more than ever as we’re seeing the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on our population, particularly our ageing community. The Fiji Government is committed to this and we must ensure that we follow through.”

 “FWRM would like to acknowledge the support received from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation towards compiling this research. We believe strongly in a collaborative approach towards gender equality and look forward to engaging more in the future,” said Ms Singh.

FWRM presented the research at the Social Welfare Department under the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation this morning.

The research is now available on the website here:

http://www.fwrm.org.fj/images/Ageing_Women/FWRM_Ageing_Women__Poverty_in_Fiji.pdf

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