Suva, Fiji – Recognising the capacity of women to change their communities from the ground up, and supporting women’s groups to transform gender roles, the Fiji Women’s Fund has announced that it has awarded 18 grants to nine women’s organisations to expand and enhance their work on women’s empowerment and gender equality.
“Our grants have over the past three years supported the women’s movement in Fiji ranging from grass roots organising to convening spaces that allows the women’s movement to collaborate, strategise, and build solidarity across diverse movements,” said Fund Manager Michelle Reddy.
As part of its third Call for Funding, the Fund disbursed nine grants valued at AUD 475,000 (FJD 747,000) to:
- Transcend Oceania based in Labasa
- Medical Services Pacific and Pacific Centre for Peace Building (PCP) based in Suva
- Pacific Rainbow Advocacy Network (PRAN) based in Nadi
- Soroptimist Sigatoka Club
- Rise Beyond the Reef (RBTR) based in Nadi
- Udu Point Women’s Group Initiative based in Vanua Levu
- Waisomo Women’s Club and Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei from Kadavu
“With the evident increase in violence against women in Fiji over the lockdown and annually 64% of women in Fiji experiencing violence from an intimate partner, the grants we provide to further the work of the women’s movement is more vital than ever. There is an urgent and apparent need for the women’s movement, embodying feminism, to grow and flourish. Women’s organisations, networks, and groups are fundamental to advancing women’s human rights,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, the Australian High Commissioner H.E. John Feakes announced that through a consortium of three Australian Government initiatives: Fiji Women’s Fund, Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development and the Australian Humanitarian Partnership – an additional eight grants were awarded today valued at AUD 364,947 to pivot to COVID-19 response work and tropical cyclone Harold recovery efforts. Grantees include:
- Fiji Women’s Rights Movement
- Fiji Disabled People’s Federation
- Medical Services Pacific
- Pacific Rainbow$ Advocacy Network
- Transcend Oceania
- Rise Beyond the Reef
- Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council
- Talanoa Treks
The grants will increase awareness and preparedness of rural and remote communities on health risks associated with COVID-19 and tropical cyclone Harold, assist women to generate employment and livelihood for their families and communities. And finally it will strengthen the resilience of women, girls and gender non-conforming women in the aftermath of TC Harold. In addition, the grants also aims to support people with disabilities ensuring that Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) are able to effectively respond to their members.
Mr Feakes said that progressing gender equality is complex and requires a coordinated response by multiple actors. “COVID-19 will require us to strengthen our partnerships and Australia is committed to working hard to achieve this. We remain committed to supporting gender equality in the Pacific through our Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.
The Fund also announced the completion of the two year term of its Steering Committee Chairperson Nalini Singh (Executive Director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement) who will be replaced by Georgina Naigulevu. Georgina has over 11 years of software development experience in the ICT field across multiple industries and is currently a Senior Manager at the HFC bank where she oversees Applications, Projects, and Innovation. Putting her ICT knowledge and skills to use, Georgina co-founded the Mobile Me Mappathon App – a community project in partnership with the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation that locates facilities on the road, pavements and footpath within pilot sites in Suva accessible for persons with disabilities.
The Fiji Women’s Fund (the Fund) is an AUD 10.5 million initiative supported by the Australian Government from 2017-2022, through its Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program. The Fund aims to provide funding and capacity development support to women’s groups, networks, and organisations in Fiji to expand and enhance their work on women’s empowerment and gender equality.
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