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 Issue 3 -  October 2019   

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.

Revolutionalising Philanthropy in Asia and the Pacific
Strengthening resources for feminist movements

Around 150 women, girls and trans* activists from 20 countries, speaking eight different languages converged in Bangkok from 25 – 27 September 2019 to examine the multifaceted reality of feminist funding in Asia and the Pacific region. Organised by eight women’s fund’s members of the Asia and the Pacific chapter of Prospera – International Network of Women’s Funds, the Convergence brought together grantee-partners, regional allies, and funders to talk about resources, power, and the processes through which they are negotiated.

The Fiji Women’s Fund was one of the co-conveners and with the support of the Australian Government, co-funded the attendance of Pacific grantee partners which included; Rise Beyond the Reef, Fiji Disabled People’s Federation, Pacific Rainbow Advocacy Network, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Medical Services Pacific, Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance and Voice for Change, Voice for Change and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement. READ MORE

Impact Assessment finds that 95% of women participating in the project gained more control over household resources

In April this year, Fund grantee Rise Beyond the Reef (RBTR) completed an Impact Assessment of its work in Fiji’s rural communities, and particularly how that work has affected and improved women’s lives. A total of 126 women and eight men were interviewed over two weeks in 10 communities in Ba and Ra Provinces. 
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Findings from the impact assessment also led to the formation of a Safeguarding Team - community champions who work towards women's economic empowerment and the reduction in violence against women.   
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Inspiring a future generation of female Scientists and Engineers
 
Realising that girls need stronger, positive STEM role models and to increase their participation in STEM studies, Graduate Women Fiji (GWF) teamed up with the Fiji Women’s Fund to host Fiji’s first STEM Camp for girls in April this year.  The three-day event gave 30 girls from rural and underprivileged communities in Suva the chance to be part of the camp.
 New Zealand Scientist and social entrepreneur Dr. Mitchell Dickson who runs Nanogirl, led the camp with a group of local STEM trainers.  
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Recognising the contribution of rural women to national development

To celebrate International Rural Women's Day (15 October), the Fund collaborated with Rise Beyond the ReefTalanoa Treks and Ra Naari Parishad to launch a publication highlighting some of the key lessons that it has learned in supporting women’s economic empowerment initiatives.  

Promising Practices from Fiji in empowering women economically, documents the commonalities of the three organisations working with women's collectives. 
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Mentoring, public speaking skills, financial management and helping women entrepreneurs at various stages of their business cycle to grow, are a few of the upskilling activities that the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) has been able to undertake for its members with the support of the Fiji Women’s Fund.  READ MORE                     
From milk to mushrooms, how the Naitasiri Women in Dairy are expanding their horizons

Since receiving a grant from the Fiji Women’s Fund, the Naitasiri Women in Dairy Group (NWDG) have hit the ground running and continue to inspire those around them. In just under two years, the group’s membership has grown in size and the women have been able to successfully implement and achieve many of the projects that they set their minds to.  

The NWDG have now begun an new exciting journey cultivating oyster mushroom through the Fund's support. READ MORE

2 in 3 women and girls in the Pacific experience violence in their lifetime, twice above the global average.

These are the initial findings of a scoping study titled Where is the Money for Women & Girls in the Pacific? Mapping gaps, opportunities and trends for funding in the Pacific.  The study was commissioned by the Fiji Women’s Fund and Urgent Action Fund Asia and the Pacific and initial key findings was presented at the Women Funded 2019 conference in September.   READ MORE

femLinkpacific convenes 2019 National Rural Women Leader’s Community Media Network (RWLCMN)
 

“The amplification of women’s voices and in particular, marginalised women is critical for the fulfillment of our development agenda. We all know that women bring a different perspective to the table but what good would that perspective be if there were no mechanisms to hear about it.”

The Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa opened the femLINKpacific 2019 National Convening of the Rural Women Leaders Community Media Network (RWLCMN) on 30 September in Suva.  READ MORE

Läje Rotuma Initiative assesses the gender needs of Rotuma

A gender needs assessment of Rotuma carried out by the Läje Rotuma Initiative found that gender differences in representation and leadership of women on Rotuma are limited to informal decision-making processes through women’s groups or clubs formed at the village level. However, at this level it is sometimes difficult for women in leadership roles to identify with and prioritise the needs of other women, resulting in disconnect and disadvantage, particularly between younger and older women.
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An innovative approach to developing future women leaders

The Young Feminist Rise Project: Young Women Lead Initiative, a two-year programme funded by the Fiji Women’s Fund aims to create an enabling environment for young women to take the lead in driving their collective advocacy action plan in relation to the changes they want to see on their compasses and in their individual networks. The initiative is a partnership of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and  the Fiji National University.
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EVENTS

16 Days of Activism: 25 November – 10 December
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence begins from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.  The campaign is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world.  The international campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.  The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) is having a March on 25 November from the Suva Flea market to Sukuna Park. For more information, contact FWCC.

Fiji Country Annual Reflection: 26 - 27 November
Since 2017, the Fiji Women’s Fund and Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development have hosted an annual Reflection and Planning workshop for grantees. This year, the Annual Reflection will take place from 26 – 27 November at the Holiday Inn and will bring together grantees, stakeholders from UN agencies, government ministries and regional organisations in the Pacific to discuss lessons learned over the past year.  For more information, contact menka.goundan@womensfund.org.fj

Women Human Rights Defenders Day: 29 November
Since 2012, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has honoured and remembered over 400 feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) from 11 regions and 80 countries who made an impact on our world but are no longer with us.  Visit the AWID Women Human Rights Defenders tribute: https://www.awid.org/whrd-tribute

Human Rights Day: 10 December
Human Rights Day is observed globally every year on 10 December. It is a day that commemorates the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Fiji, the NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) organises a march to celebrate the day. 
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Fiji Women's Fund
Level 3, Kaunikuila House, Sun Insurance Building,
Laucala Bay Road, Flagstaff Suva, Fiji 
Email: information@womensfund.org.fj   Phone: +679 331 4410

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