On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Fiji Women’s Fund (the Fund) launched its 2018 annual progress report and announced new grants to 11 women’s civil society organisations. The announcement was made today by Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, at the launch of the Fund’s 2018 Annual Progress Report in Suva.
The announcement brings the total of number of organisations, or grantees, the Fund has supported since inception in 2017, to 29. The Fund works with organisations working in the areas of eliminating violence against women, strengthening women’s groups and coalitions for change, empowering women through increased economic opportunities, and improving women’s participation in leadership and decision making.
In 2018, the Fund reached 7,869 people, including 5,321 women, 2,481 men, and 67 representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) community. Of the total, 39 (25 women and 14 men) are living with disabilities.
“The Fund recognises that we are part of the larger, vital women’s movement in Fiji. We’re proud to be part of our Grantees’ journeys to bring about transformative changes for women’s rights, and continue to foster and strengthen existing relationships with our grantees, partners, sister funds, women’s movement, private sector, government and stakeholders”, said Fund Manager, Michelle Reddy.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, acknowledged the Fund’s contribution toward the Fiji government’s strategies on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, including the National Women’s Plan of Action and the National Gender Policy.
“We may have taken great strides as a region and as a nation in the area of women’s empowerment and gender equality, but our women are still faced with discrimination, still limited in decision making and still second recipients of opportunities in many instances. Therefore, we as responsible implementing and funding agencies must continue our accounted for, well monitored and continually evolving programs till gender parity is a reality. The Fiji Women’s Fund provides for that opportunity to Fijian Women.”
Acting Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Anna Dorney, commended the Fund’s work to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women in Fiji.
“Today’s launch marks another milestone for the Fiji Women’s Fund. Australia is proud to support the Fund and the important work you do to assist women and communities in Fiji. Collective action is essential to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women. Australia remains steadfast in supporting the Fiji Government, women’s civil society, private sector and key stakeholders, in their efforts to progress gender equality and the empowerment of women”.
A key outcome of the Fund by the end of 2022 is that it will have transitioned to an independent local entity. To this end, the Fund has embarked on securing further funding by engaging with the private sector for resource mobilisation, commissioning a scoping study to assess philanthropy in the Pacific, investing in ongoing capacity development and strengthening its structure and processes, and developing a localisation strategy.
The Fund continues to work alongside its development partners and the private sector in fulfilling the Fund’s purpose to serve the women and girls of Fiji, and to support women’s groups, networks and organisations on their journey towards transformative gender equality.
The Fiji Women’s Fund (the Fund) is an initiative of the Australian Government’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) Program. The Fund commits up to AU$10.5 million from 2017 to 2022 and provides 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.
For more information about the Fund and this release contact the Fiji Women’s Fund Communications Officer, Belinda Fraser, on +679 331 4410 or +679 331 4033 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org