Women Continue to Lead For Peace as RAMSI Leaves

“It is on us now to make sure the government, (as well as) civil society… to be responsible to each other, take ownership of the (National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security) and to see it as a guiding document to continue to help us after RAMSI leaves us,” said Josephine Teakeni, of Vois Blong Mere Solomons, ahead of next week's Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Pacific network meeting in Suva.

Teakeni is the GPPAC Pacific focal point for the Solomon Islands and a network leader who contributed to the formulation and adoption of the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012-2015).

In an interview with femLINKpacific (26th of June) she suggested how GPPAC Pacific could support the integration of the Solomon Islands National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security – the first in the region.


In this edition:

Peace, Human Security and Development

Events and Campaigns

Here Are The Women

New Publications

Partner Updates

Women’s Weather Watch

On Air and Online

Previous Edition:

Mailchimp: http://mailchi.mp/4429cc68ab94/the-thirteen-25-report-march-april-2017-edition

Website:  http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/544-the-thirteen-25-report-march-april-2017-edition

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/the-thirteen-25-report-march-april-2017-edition/10155337893154295/

PDF: http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/2015-01-20-00-21-36/543-e-bulletin-2-2017


Peace, Human Security and Development

Gender Equality Must Be More Than Cosmetic

press release – 1st May (12/2017)

“Implementing gender equality has to be more than cosmetic,” says Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Executive Producer-Director of femLINKpacific. “This includes resourcing to capacitate women’s interest officers to be the agents of action for gender equality at the local level”


Govt Must Take Steps To Address Feminization Of Poverty

17 May 2017

Submission to the Review of the National Minimum Wage and Wages Regulations

Recommendation: Government must take steps towards addressing the growing feminization of poverty in Fiji including by increasing the national minimum wage to $4 an hour


National Budget Must Support Human Security Approach

press release: 29th June (17/2017)

Ahead of today’s announcement of the National Budget 2017-2018, femLINKpacific continues to stress the need to resource gender equality to ensure that women are informed, engaged and can contribute to peace building strategies that address the root causes of violence at local and national levels.


Put WHSF in the North

by Sulueti Waqa with Sian Rolls

“We would like to see the increase in budget for women in agriculture,” said Dimakita Lena, President of Naleba Multiracial Women’s Group - one of the 101 rural women leaders who has engaged in femLINKpacific’s 2017 consultations, a strong voice reaffirming the need to ‘look North’ and include women as leaders in decision making.


Sugar Talks Must Feature Women's Voices

by Alisia Evans

“I used to have 200 tonnes, 150 tonnes (of sugarcane after harvest) but now it (has) drop(ped) down to 10 tonnes (following Tropical Cyclone Winston),” fretted Sarojini Gounder a sugar cane farmer based in Rakiraki. “So, if it’s $10 (per tonne)… $100 (will be my only income) so I don’t know how I’m going to pay for my labours.”


Supporting Women in Agriculture, Not Adding Burden

by Hannah Hicks

It’s no secret that women are the central providers of food, fuel and water in their homes and communities.


Gender blind data makes gender blind decisions

by Alisia Evans

“There is no database that’s specifically states women farmers with us,” pointed out Jone Sovalawa, Director of Extension Services for the Ministry of Agriculture. “There are a number of women farmers but the assistance that we give is to all farmers irrespective of gender.”


Rural Women Redefine Leadership

by Sian Rolls

femLINKpacific's monthly consultations continued in the past week bringing together 133* rural women leaders from across 8 districts -  Nausori, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki as well as rural and urban Labasa.



Events and Campaigns

World Press Freedom Day

press release – 3rd May (13/2017)

“There is a need to ensure that there is a diverse, pluralistic and liberal media landscape in Fiji and across the Pacific which is inclusive of community media forms such as community radio that provides and promotes a diversity of voices,” stated Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Executive Producer-Director of femLINKpacific and a Global Ambassador for The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP). “This is a prerequisite for providing the enabling environment for participatory and inclusive democratisation.”

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/546-femtalk-diversity-in-media-fosters-peace-justice-and-inclusiveness or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/femtalk-diversity-in-media-fosters-peace-justice-and-inclusiveness/10155353542529295/

FemTALK89FM’s Birthday

press release – 18th May (15/2017)

It all began with a shared vision following the events of May 2000 in Fiji to promote ‘women speaking to women for peace’. It linked Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action and UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 which was adopted on October 31 2000. The vision of the co-founders collective of femLINKpacific was to provide a media platform for women across the Pacific - starting in Fiji, which included radio, press and television programmes.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/558-femtalk89fm-turns-13 or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/femtalk89fm-turns-13/10155398548324295/

FemTALK89FM Fiji: Bridging the Information-Communication Gap for Women Leaders

by Hannah Hicks

"It is about us rural women, we don’t really have time to listen or talk on radio due to the busy schedule at home but having our own community radio station it has given us a lot of freedom,” said Vani Tuvuki, leader of the Koronubu Women’s Fellowship from Ba who has been part of the femLINK network for 7 years.



Community Radio for all Families, everywhere

by Alisia Evans

“For me, on a personal note, our family… none of them were sensitized about LGBTIQ (issues) until I came about,” highlighted Tamani Rarama, a young trans-activist and member of the Rainbow Pride Foundation, during an interview for FemTALK 89FM’s weekly show Rainbow Connections. “It was a hard task at first but then over time they’ve learnt to not just respect but enjoy (and celebrate) who I really am “I feel blessed to have grown up in a family where I knew I could go back to.”


Podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/sets/idahot-2017

International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament

Continuing to enable ‘Women Speaking To Women For Peace’

by Frances Tawake

“There is too much conflict and too much stress in our homes and in our world,” wrote Tessa Mackenzie, Treasurer of Interfaith Search in Fiji. “We hear people say ‘I long for some peace and quiet’ what they mean is time to be away from it all – time to be alone.”


Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/femtalk89fm-suva-may-17-peace-vigil-international-womens-day-for-peace-and-disarmament

Pacific RISE

CrossPost: Bringing a Gender Lens to Pacific Investments

media release: 30 May 2017

Systems and processes of finance don’t often work for women! And yet in the Pacific women make up almost half the population and are significant private sector players.


Analysing Impact Investing for Gender Equality

by Sian Rolls

“Gender lens investing is looking at investments that are trying to create social good,” explained Joy Anderson, President of the Criterion Institute. “It comes out the background of a field called impact investing which is really how do you move investment capital, in such a way that it’s trying to create social good.”


Gender Responsive Budget Capacity Enhancing Workshop

Gender Responsive Budgeting will support more young women to engage in national budget cycle

via Fiji Young Women’s Forum:  press release – 13th June (2017)

A three day workshop focusing on enhancing the participation of diverse young women to engage in national development planning and budgetary processes gets underway tomorrow (14 to 16 June).


We Don’t Need a Budget For Women, We Need a Budget With Women

by Alisia Evans

“The gender budget is not a separate budget for women - it’s about showing how women are affected in the government budget,” explained Maraia Tabunakawai, Team Leader - Intergenerational Women’s in Leadership of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.


National Budgets Must Leave No One Behind – Especially Young Women

by Sulueti Waqa and Sian Rolls

“With regards to economic security, one thing I’ve noticed that most of the members in my community are involve in very low income earning employment,” shared Bonita Qio of Pacific Rainbows Advocacy Network. “I feel that measures need to be made in order to lift the level of their economic security. What I want in the National Budget is (an) increase the minimum wages to $4 an hour because I find 50% working women are earning approximately $80 to $90 per week.”


Gender Responsive Budgeting – Adding Value and Amplifying Voice of Diverse Young Women

via Fiji Young Women’s Forum: press release - 20th June (2017)

Last Friday, the Fiji Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) concluded its 3 day ‘Gender Responsive Budget (GRB) Capacity Enhancing Workshop’.


Diverse Needs, One Budget

by Hannah Hicks

“There is 1 (suicide) attempt every 36 hours in Fiji, and basically (what we need) is (to be) talking to (people) about having positive coping mechanisms,” explained Regina Rakacikaci of Youth Champs 4 Mental Health.



Here Are The Women

Shanti Sharma

by Alisia Evans

“(The) employment agency should find (the) right jobs for the right people, not just allocate whatever they have on hand (because) people (will) get frustrated,” explained Shanti Sharma, National President of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Nari Sabha Fiji. “Look at the person’s capability, their strengths and weaknesses and then provide that kind of job for them.”

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/556-here-are-the-women-2017-shanti-sharma or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-shanti-sharma/10155389250719295/

Urmila Prasad

by Hannah Hicks

"Don’t (just) look at me as a woman, look at me as an advisory councillor, look at my role. says Urmila Prasad, the 52 year community work who is the advisory councillor for the communities of Wairuku, Cuicui, Narewa and Vitawa in Rakiraki.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/557-here-are-the-women-2017-urmila-prasad or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-urmila-prasad/10155392217944295/

Alesi Vidrali Siga

by Sulueti Waqa

“To increase women’s participation at political level, they need to be supported financially and with more training,” said Alesi Vidrali Siga from Ba Housing Assistant Relief Trust (HART) Village.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/562-here-are-the-women-2017-alesi-vidrali-siga or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-alesi-vidrali-siga/10155412614409295/

Rev. Angela Suruj Prasad

by Sulueti Waqa

“(Women) are the first (responders) to disasters, poverty and everything so women should be given chances to participate at the political level as they understand women better,” stressed Rev. Angela Suruj Prasad of the Association of Anglican Women (AAW) in Labasa.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/564-here-are-the-women-2017-rev-angela-suruj-prasad or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-rev-angela-suruj-prasad/10155424253504295/

Eta Tuvuki

by Hannah Hicks

“My main priority is for us to have a clean and reliable water source because after TC Winston our water source was fully damaged and right now we are fully relying on rain water and for that rain has somehow finally stopped and dry season is coming up and we are fetching up to the creek and getting water from the creek is another burden,” shared Eta Tuvuki, member of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama and Buretu Women’s Club in Rakiraki.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/565-here-are-the-women-2017-eta-tuvuki or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-eta-tuvuki/10155436792109295/

Jojiana Waqanitoga

by Sulueti Waqa

“First of all, we (women) are the one preparing the family during natural disaster so we should be on the frontline during distribution (and) gathering things during disaster rather than being left on the sideline and men are mostly doing everything."

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/566-here-are-the-women-2017-jojiana-waqanitoga or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-jojiana-waqanitoga/10155442663504295/

Vikatoria Tuivanualevu

by Sulueti Waqa

“For us women, we look forward to having women appointed in to leadership role not only nationally but (to) start at the community level,” shared Vikatoria Tuivanualevu, President of the Naweni Women’s Group. “We would like to be included as women in all decision making levels and even in all departments or ministry in government.”

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/567-here-are-the-women-2017-vikatoria-tuivanualevu or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-vikatoria-tuivanualevu/10155469111564295/

Rohini Nadan

by Frances Tawake

“Working in the community is one of the best experience in my life,” shared Rohini Nadan, district advisory councillor for the Bau and Namata areas in Nausori. “I have learned a lot especially when it comes to addressing the different needs of my community, particularly women.”

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/568-here-are-the-women-2017-rohini-nadan or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-rohini-nadan/10155469114629295/

Ana Ramatai

by Sulueti Waqa

“If women have the information, attend workshops, empowerment programs and awareness, they will be able to question many things that are being discussed especially developments and things that they are not aware of,” said Ana Ramatai, the President for the Soqosoqo Vakamarama (SSV) Bua province.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/here-are-the-women/569-here-are-the-women-2017-ana-ramatai or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/here-are-the-women-ana-ramatai/10155516054079295/


New Publications

femLINKpacific National Budget Submission 2017-2018


Women, Peace and Security: Participation for Preventative Action including Preparedness


Pasifika Peace Talanoa 1/2017


Community Radio Times 2/2017


Women's Human Security First: Report (May 2017)



Partner Updates

FemTALK Solidarity via Vois Blong Mere

Solomon Islands Government Minister for Women, Youth and Children and Family Affairs, Hon. Freda Tuki Soricomua launched the Gender Equality and Women Development Policy; Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Policy and Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan.



DIVA for Equality Fiji Responds to USA Pulling Out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

press release - 2nd of June, 2017

SUVA, FIJI — DIVA for Equality climate activists in Fiji are deeply saddened and angered at the decision by Donald Trump to withdraw the United States of America out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


Do you know an inspiring Pacific woman?

via the Pacific Community (SPC)

The Pacific Community turns 70 this year. In preparation to the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women, which will be in Fiji, in October 2017, SPC needs your help to identify 70 women, or groups of women, who have made a significant contribution to the social, economic, cultural and political development in Pacific islands countries and territories. The purpose is to celebrate the legacy of Pacific women in all their diversity who have worked and contributed to improve Pacific Island lives.


Statement of Solidarity to Mindanao and Her Peoples

via WACC Asia Pacific region - June 6, 2017

We, members of the World Association of Christian Communication-Asia Region (WACC-AR), strongly condemn the continuing terrorist attacks being perpetrated by the alleged ISIS-linked Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf on Marawi City and its population. 


Sign on to “No Nukes” Statement

On June 15th - to July 7th, the second session of negotiations on a historic treaty to ban nuclear weapons will take place in the United Nations in New York. Dr Vanessa Griffen of Fiji will be attending this meeting and has shared a statement from Indigenous groups impacted by nuclear weapons or the nuclear fuel chain in some way.


We Cannot Let History Repeat Itself: We Are Not Guinea Pigs!

Joint Statement - 7th June, 2017

As regional leaders gather today for the week long UN oceans conference, we wish to recognise the Pacific’s storied history, as stewards of the world’s largest ocean. We acknowledge the test of time that this region has withstood, and commemorate those who have endure and withstood nuclear testing, a period in history with ramifications that are still felt by our oceans, lands, and peoples.


Read to Lead extends partnerships to media

by Sian Rolls

“This is commendable because it takes commitment from media for us to be able to deliver what we report we wanted to deliver,” enthused Galaza Akbar, Chair of Vision Fiji, last week.


Talitha Takes On Empowerment of Young Women

by Alisia Evans

“I believe in educating and informing young women with all the information that (is) affecting our everyday lives (so young women are able) to make informed decisions,” stated Vanessa Heleta, founder and Director of the Tonga based Talitha Project – a non-government organisation that addresses and prevents violence against women and girls.


Reaffirming Commitment to Young Women’s Participation – Fiji Young Women’s Forum

via Fiji Young Women’s Forum: press release – 26th June (2017)

Yesterday, representatives of co-convening organisations of the Fiji Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) reaffirmed their commitment with the signing of a new Terms of Reference (TOR).



Women’s Weather Watch

Women’s Weather Watch Updates


Vanuatu: Invest in Women as First Responders

by Sian Rolls

There is a need to ensure that humanitarian response during disasters support women-led organisations and amplify diverse women’s voices, agency and decision making in disaster preparedness and women-led innovation in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and humanitarian response.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/549-women-s-weather-watch-vanuatu-invest-in-women-as-first-responders or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-vanuatu-invest-in-women-as-first-responders/10155369102974295/

Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Ella Updates

press release – 10th May (14/2017)

“I spoke to Urmila Kumar – President of the Shakti Women’s Club - this morning,” reported Fane Boseiwaqa, femLINKpacific convenor for Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki. “She says in Dramasi settlement, Tavua, the weather is windy and cloudy.”

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/551-women-s-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella/10155374818139295/

Update – 11th May

While TC Ella continues to sway and swerve, now swinging more North of Cikobia, damaging gale force winds are still expected to affect the country.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/553-women-s-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-11th-may-2017 or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-11th-may-2017/10155377918939295/

Update – 12th May (AM)

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/554-women-s-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-morning-update-12th-may-2017 or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-morning-update-12th-may-2017/10155380516974295/

Update – 12th May (PM)

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/555-women-s-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-afternoon-update-12th-may-2017 or https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-fiji-tc-ella-afternoon-update-12th-may-2017/10155380862604295/

Women’s Weather Watch – Fiji: Update on 23rd May, 2017

The low pressure system currently bearing down on Fiji is expected to continue to affect the eastern half of Fiji until tonight.

http://www.femlinkpacific.org.fj/index.php/en/actions/archive/563-women-s-weather-watch-fiji-update-on-23rd-may-2017 and https://www.facebook.com/notes/femlinkpacific/womens-weather-watch-fiji-update-on-23rd-may-2017/10155415562369295/

Progressing Women’s Weather Watch: Taking the Local to Regional and Global Arenas

press release - 20th May (16/2017)


Support Women as Leaders for DRR, Resilience

by Sian Rolls


Podcasts: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/sets/womens-weather-watch-cancun


On Air and Online

FemVids Ultimo: April 2017

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/femlinkpacific/videos/10158869198515093/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U42WYsFR7Ss

Radio With Pictures in the Field (Feb and May ’17)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsB15SAsePbZ3vdbJ00YsyL0QSQ5H0ws7

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/sets/radio-with-pictures-in-the-field-feb-17

Radio With Pictures in the Field – FYWF Special (Part 1)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naMYP_fBr6E

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/radio-with-pictures-in-the-field-jun-17-fywf-special-part-1

Radio With Pictures in the Field – FYWF Special (Part 2)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdGXxFizTIs

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/femlinkpacific/radio-with-pictures-in-the-field-jun-17-fywf-special-part-2

FYWF Gender Responsive Budgeting Message


Speakers Debate (May ’17): Do communities in Fiji value the voices for our youth?


FemTALK89FM (May '17): Women's Human Security First


FemTALK89FM (Jun ’17): Women’s Human Security First


Sisters of the Pacific Ocean (2016)