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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

28 March 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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NGOCHR PR-The Details in Democracy Worth Holding On To 15/09/2022 

NGOCHR PR-The Details in Democracy Worth Holding On To
 
15/09/2022 
The NGO Coalition on Human Rights reaffirms the principles of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental human rights as we commemorate International Day of Democracy today.  
 Almost 52 years since Fiji's independence from British rule, what has the country achieved? There is increased militarization of our government, media freedom is not fully exercised, violence against women and girls is at an all-time high and the impact of COVID-19 on our people is still felt in ripples where security and safety of Fijians are at risk. 
Democracy is more than just holding elections or checking boxes of conventions ratified and international obligations met. True democracy means that every Fijian are able to have a say in decisions that affect their lives.  
It means that freedom of expression and free media are protected without fear and intimidation. It demands that the military and police end brutalizing ordinary citizens, and ensures that women are on equal parity to men in all spheres. A truly democratic State is inclusive, transparent, accountable and representative of everyone, free from any form of discrimination. Fiji’s history of coups has periodically challenged and held to ransom democracy and rule of law. Today, we still see a fragile democratic State that has not completely recovered.  
The Coalition demands that the government cease control and abuse of power to suppress the media from publishing matters of national public interest. Without a free press, democracy cannot survive. 
NGOCHR calls for true and genuine democratic rule and demands that the government holds true to its global 'promises' on the protection of human rights. As the country draws near to elections, we urge Fijian citizens to make informed choices and choose a government that will ensure that people live with dignity where their human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, promoted and fulfilled.  
We all have a role to play. Let us hold each other accountable on our journey to building a democratic Fiji.  
Ends 
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The Members of the NGOCHR include the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC), Fiji Women's Rights Movement, Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF), femLINKPacific, Social Empowerment and Education Program (SEEP), and Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality Fiji. Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) and Haus of Khameleon (HoK) are observers.