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 Issue 7 -  December 2020

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 has committed AU$10.5 million from 2017 to 2022 for 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.

Rekindling hope and rebuilding together
Dear Readers

As this edition went to press, the people of Fiji have just emerged from yet another severe tropical cyclone, many have lost their homes, livelihoods and remain in evacuation centres. Many of our grantee partners have already started post disaster recovery work on the ground to help communities recover.  Globally, 2020 will go down in history as one of the most difficult years.  For Fijians, two severe cyclones and a pandemic has really pushed them to their limits and tested both their resilience and perseverance. 

We have learnt that kindness, solidarity and working together has been our greatest strengths. 2020 has also clearly shown us that the feminist and women’s movement is in dire need of flexible funding that can be mobilised quickly to help organisations adapt to these unprecedented events and to address the increases in gender-based violence. As we usher in the new year, we would like to reaffirm our commitment and hold true to our vision of being an empathic and adaptive feminist fund that influences and mobilises resources for feminist and women's rights movements to progress the human rights of women, girls and gender non-conforming people.

In solidarity,
The Fund Team

We launched our new grants for women's groups, networks and organisations

In November, the Fund announced the launch of its 2020-2021 Grants Call (fourth round of grants).  This year we  drew on the learnings from the dual crises of COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold and listened to the call for our grants to be flexible and agile enough to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities.

Apart from changes to the application processes, timeline and project categorisation, this year our grants include funding options for crisis management and disaster risk reduction for the feminist and women's movement in Fiji.  
One major change is the naming of our grants which now will be called: Sustainability Grants, Movement Building Grants and Resilience Grants. These three words come from and resonate with the feminist and women's movements in Fiji and globally.

Download the brief information brochure: HERE
Get detailed instructions on how to apply: HERE

Making sure no one misses out: Ways to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in Fiji

The women’s movement in Fiji has done an incredible job over decades to address violence. Frontrunners, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, have paved the way for the recognition of violence against women and girls as a crime, support to women facing violence, lobby and advocate for gender-just laws and policies, and the critical re-examination of attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence. There has been much successful work done in Fiji over the last 30 years to eliminate violence.

But there is still more to be done. In fact, a national plan is being developed to broaden the range of actors and aims to engage society as a whole in addressing violence. One of these actors is social enterprise Rise Beyond the Reef whose violence prevention work fits within this context. READ MORE

Promising practices in preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in Fiji

The Fund supports the documentation and research of practices that contribute to the ongoing efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls in Fiji. This  year we facilitated a joint paper  based on the work of four of our grantee partners who are working to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.

The Fund partnered with House of Sarah, Medical Services Pacific, the Reproductive Family Health Association of Fiji and Rise Beyond the Reef to produce the paper that explains the different approaches grantee partners have used and tailored to their own community contexts. From these approaches, the collective identified four intersecting learnings that they felt was common.   READ MORE

Gender Equality: The very core of our grants for women

Fiji has one of the highest rates of Gender Based Violence in the world.  One of the core objectives of the fund is to promote the prevention of gender based violence by funding projects that promotes women's rights and gender justice.  In this blog, we share the on-going work of our grantee partners and why funding these objectives is so important. Our experience working with 44 initiatives, many of them rural and community-based, is that transformative change is possible BUT there is still more to do. 
Mere Roden: A Silent Power

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), 3 December 2020, we paid tribute to the incomparable Mere Roden - an advocate for disability inclusion, women's rights and one of Fiji's achieved sportswomen who has dedicated her life to serving her community.

Mere served on our Steering Committee from 2017 till 2020. During this time, she provided strategic direction to the Fund and 
advocated the need for more flexible and adaptable resources for women’s groups who belonged to the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation and its four affiliates.  READ MORE
Soroptimists focus on empowering women with vocational and life skills training

The Soroptimist Sigatoka has embarked on a one-year project to empower women in the Nadroga-Navosa Province through vocational and life skills training.  As part of a global movement of diverse women volunteers, the club aims to inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls by advocating for equity and equality, creating safe and healthy environments, increasing access to education and developing leadership and practical skills for a sustainable future. 
We interviewed Ashna Shaleen - Executive Director of  Medical Services Pacific (MSP) who speaks about the impact of COVID-19 on Fijians and how MSP has had to increase their hours of operations and staffing to ensure that they are effectively catering to the increased instances of sexual and gender based violence. Click on the image to play the video
Women’s groups from Kadavu focus on empowering change agents

Women’s groups from five districts across Kadavu are working together to help their members build leadership and technical skills to empower them to be agents of change in their families and communities. The groups belong to the Kadavu arm of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei (SSV). Through the support of the Fiji Women's Fund, the women hope to build their confidence to speak up in village, district and provincial meetings to influence change and make informed decisions in their households and communities. READ MORE
Copyright © 2019 Fiji Women's Fund, All rights reserved.

Fiji Women's Fund
Level 3, Kaunikuila House, Sun Insurance Building,
Laucala Bay Road, Flagstaff Suva, Fiji 
Email:   Phone: +679 331 4410

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