DIVERSE VOICES AND ACTION FOR EQUALITY fiji  

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Join the Revolution! Fiji Young Women's Forum Lays Down the Challenge to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Posted on 13 February, 2015 at 0:25

Join the Revolution! FYWF Lays Down the Challenge to End Violence Against Women and Girls


 13th February, 2015 PRESS RELEASE: Join the Revolution! FYWF Lays Down the Challenge to End Violence Against Women and Girls The Fiji Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) supports the global campaign ‘One Billion Rising – Revolution’, the biggest call to action to end violence against women and girls in human history. Fiji’s rates of violence against women and girls are among the very highest in the world with 43 women injured every day, as a result of domestic violence. Of these women, one will be permanently disabled and 10 will lose consciousness due to the severity of the beating. The appalling statistics speaks for themselves and we need to demand justice for both the victims and survivors of violence. Fiji’s patriarchal culture has normalised violence against women and girls and we challenge everyone to stop accepting violence against women as normal behaviour. It is a criminal act.


We are challenging the status quo. We are challenging you to join us in the revolution to demand an end to all forms of discrimination against women and girls. We are challenging you to revolutionize the norms and attitudes towards women and girls. The Fiji Young Women’s Forum invites you to join us for a flash mob at MHCC in Suva tomorrow at 3pm, February 14th, 2015 as we challenge all Fijians to revolt against this perpetuating culture, for our right to equal opportunities, respect and safety at all levels of our life. Violence against women and girls is a constitutional concern. It is everybody’s concern.


The Fiji Women’s Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) is co-convened by the Emerging Leaders Forum Alumni (ELFA), Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA), Young Women Producers and Broadcasters- FemLINKPACIFIC and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, the campaign is based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.


The Forum has engaged approximately 102 young women leaders and activists aged 18 – 35 years from around Fiji in 3 national forums, to discuss barriers and strategies to young women’s meaningful political participation and representation in Fiji’s democratization process, in the 2014 elections and beyond. We wish to reaffirm our position in working towards ending all forms of violence against women and girls.


The Forum continues to lobby for stronger legislative framework to protect women, and persists with the political will and action towards implementing serious change. - Ends –


#1BillionRising #Revolution #WhyIRise #rise4revolution #Fiji #FYWF #YoungWomenLead For more information about the ‘One Billion Rising – Break The Chain Flash Mob’ for Saturday February 14th, please contact Mamta Chand on 9255674 or visit the One Billion Facebook Page https/www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingPacific?fref=ts

New! New! Pacific Partnerships to Strengthen Gender, Climate Change Response and Sustainable Development

Posted on 5 July, 2014 at 13:30


Pacific Partnerships to Strengthen Gender, Climate Change Response and Sustainable Development

 An innovative Pacific regional meeting to be held from 9 to 13 June in Nadi, Fiji, aims to advance the region's interests in global United Nations bodies in key areas such as gender equality and climate change.

 The meeting will bring together representatives of national, regional and global women-led civil society organisations (CSOs) and networks, national women's machineries (NWMs) and high-level state representatives from New York missions and capitals to discuss, strategise and agree on priorities and political partnerships to advance gender, climate change and disaster risk reduction positions in the global sustainable development, post-2015 development and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change multilateral agendas. The high-level meeting on 13 June will be chaired by the Honourable Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu,

 This initiative is co-convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Diverse Voices and Action for Equality and the Pacific Youth Council. Other partners include Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office, the Fiji Women's Rights Movement, The Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), with many others providing expertise, and financial and other resources. 

 With the Pacific Plan review underway as well as global processes such as preparation for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, Beijing+20 (the upcoming review of progress made in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, this is a timely opportunity to strengthen partnerships and engagement for implementation of regional and global priorities on gender, climate change and sustainable development, with the aim of demonstrating concrete policy results, and also increasing support for women-led civil society groups and national women's machineries in the Pacific region.

 The process adopted in the meeting aims to accomplish the following objectives. Firstly, to strategise and agree on urgent and long-term Pacific priorities and state and civil society partnerships to advance transformative gender, climate change and DRR positions into the global sustainable development agenda. Secondly, participants will also identify how CSOs and NWMs can support negotiators from Pacific missions and capital as they position Pacific priorities in global advocacy tracks. Thirdly, participants will discuss how to strengthen mechanisms to monitor implementation of policies, promote transparency, accountability and dialogue throughout the global gender, sustainable development and climate change agendas.....ends.

 For further information, contact

Noelene Nabulivou, Programme Adviser, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality; DAWN Associate, WMG SIDS Focal Point, UN Women Asia-Pacific CSAG; Fiji. Email: [email protected]

Brigitte Leduc, Gender Equality Adviser at SPC, [email protected]

Tarusila Bradburgh, Coordinator, Pacific Youth Council. [email protected]

 Statement out soon!


Declaration: LBT Women in Fiji, for Gender Equality, Human Rights and Democracy!

Posted on 4 May, 2014 at 17:15



We, Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, are a group of active and committed lesbians, bisexuals and transmen (LBT) including young LBT from around the Central and Eastern division of Fiji, who have gathered in Suva, Fiji to discuss issues of gender equality, human rights, elections and democracies.

Therefore, in recognition of the Government of Fiji as primary duty bearer for our human rights as LBT women, the existing recognition of our human rights under the current Fiji Constitution, and in order to realise our inherent human rights, including the right to life and to sustainable development, freedom from violence and torture, and to all our civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, strongly call for the following:


1. The promotion of substantive equality in Fiji that protects the rights of all lesbian, bisexual and trans* people (LBT), including the right to sexual and reproductive health and rights, recognition of all rights linked to sexual orientation and gender identities and expressions, without fear or discrimination;


2. Recognition and utilisation of internationally recognised Yogyakarta principles, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international and regional gender equality normative frameworks including the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, Moana Declaration, Beijing Platform for Action and Reviews, CEDAW, ICPD and POAs, etc, in order to uphold and sustain the rights to bodily integrity and freedom of LBT women of Fiji;


3. We call for a demonstration of accountability and transparency by all duty holders including the Fiji Government, Security forces, Fiji Police Force, political parties, NGOs, other civil society and the wider community, for an inclusivity of all sexual orientations whilst addressing gender equality and human rights, and to recognise that lesbian, bisexual and trans* rights are women's rights and human rights, and these rights need to be fulfilled.


4. Freedom from all forms of violence, torture, discrimination and neglect of LBT women and all people of Fiji, and for safe counselling services and professionalism in schools, work places and organisations;


5. Implementation of legal standards through legislation and policies that comply to international human rights standards and universal, comprehensive, integrated and quality access to medical, health and education services, food, water and adequate land and housing;


6. Commitment to the review of the Fiji education system with particular emphasis on girl child and young LBT women. Diverse Voices and Action for Equality calls for affirmative action programs directed at the enhancement of young LBT women’s formal and informal education, and other development opportunities;


7. Elimination of all forms of civil and political, social, economic and cultural discrimination directed at LBT women including in the homes, workforce, sports and recreation, and demand fair treatment, equality and representation in public and private sectors. CEDAW means the convention on the elimination of ALL forms of discrimination against women, which includes LBT women;


8. To recognise our rights as LBT women to sustainable development, which is not possible without the equal participation of LBT women in democracy, elections and voting, among all other rights. As young LBT women of all ages, including young women advocates, we further pledge to continue to work with each other, and state and non-state allies, to:


9. Build strong, supportive and adequately resourced LBT and other SOGIE groups including Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, to carry forward our work for gender equality, sexual rights, and for universal human rights in Fiji, and in the Pacific. We cannot take forward this work without resources. LBT women will self-organise for positive change in Fiji, with support of allies, as there must be no human rights and development work that takes place without our direct and informed input, and our free, prior and informed consent. ‘Nothing about us, without us’ is our constant call.


10. We will focus on self-care, wellbeing and mental health, as issues of great importance to LBT women and others from marginalised and discriminated groups in our society. This requires work on systems of mental health, and also public education campaigns, training and awareness workshops, and more. When self-esteem is damaged by others, information and communications must also be part of the human rights and social justice response.


11. We highlight the importance of the role of the media, in a just and sustainable democracy. We call on media and political leaders to commit to the principle of free media, with a strong emphasis on human rights, social justice, balanced reporting and responsible journalism.


12. Schools and other educational institutions in Fiji are powerful social and cultural institutions in constructing gender identity, as they have a major influence on how children and young people view each other, and on their acceptance and enjoyment of diversity. On the issues of informal and formal education and right to decent work, DIVA will prioritise rights-based and sustainable development programmes that recognise that bodily freedom, health and wellbeing, safe spaces, and non-discrimination are essential to all advances in education and employment for young LBT women. This includes content on comprehensive sexuality education, SRHR, human rights and sustainable development. We demand the promotion of high-quality gender identity and relations teaching and learning, at all educational levels, including early years settings.


13. On the right to decent work, we reaffirm that the International Labor Organization (ILO) identifies four aspects of decent work: creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, social protection, and social dialogue, with gender equality as a cross-cutting objective. Lack of access to recognised national qualifications, decent work and living wage undermines lesbian, bisexual and trans* people’s rights, perpetuates gender inequalities in societies and dampens the prospects for sustainable development and inclusive rights-based economic progress.


14. We call for young LBT women to be supported to pursue education and employment in male-dominated fields. This includes attention to workplace safety for women entering such fields. The State must commit to the advancement of LBT young women in self-employment initiatives and small businesses, by providing necessary support and services including financial assistance, training and development, and access to markets regardless of young women’s age, ethnicity, status, location, social standing, and other variables.


15. In closing, we especially recognise that lesbian women, trans people and those LGBTQI with non-conforming gender identity and gender expression face even greater, intersectional forms of violence, marginalisation and discrimination. We call for an immediate end to all violence and torture of LGBTQI people around the world including the Pacific, and including implementation of enabling legislation, policies and practices in Fiji.

We stand in solidarity with all LGBTQI people.

We are not free till all are free!

All women, all people, all rights!

Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, 30 April, 2014, Suva, Fiji.

*This workshop was kindly supported by Global Fund for Women, and local supporters and allies. Special thanks to FWRM, CCF.

Why fight for SRHR, not SRH and RR?!

Posted on 12 April, 2014 at 0:15

Question to Noelene Nabulivou, Adviser to DIVA for Equality, as CPD47 continues:

 

Why do you insist on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights'(SRHR) over Sexual and Reproductive Health' (SRH) and (Reproductive Rights) RR?!

 

Reply: "Use of 'SRH and RR' implies that women only have 'the right' to have reproductive rights. Also that the only issue that matters is, 'how they reproduce children for society'. Or that it is even possible to separate sexual rights from reproductive rights -ITS NOT!

 

Women are seemingly entitled to sexual and reproductive 'health', but the minute we want to make decisions on the FULL RANGE of sexual and reproductive rights, suddenly it is decided that these rights are not available/applicable. This has been the case in international documents, and in the way health and other social programmes are carried out in many countries, for too long.

 

The reality is that women are full beings, and sexual beings, just as are men and transgender people.

 

This is as much about the ability of a person to have bodily integrity and autonomy, in every area of our lives.

 

It is also the sad reality that males are seldom subjected to the level of scrutiny, control and indeed, violence, over their sexual and reproductive health and rights, as are women and trans* people. This is why feminists and many women's rights advocates insist on a structural analysis of the systems that perpetuate gender based inequalities.

 

When you add an intersectional analysis, you also find that many women and girls and trans* people experienced even more heightened violation of rights because of their multiple identities, whatever they may be.

 

Finally, it is also about the ability to function as a decision-making person. One CANNOT ever experience the full range of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights when not regarded as a full person, in decision-making control of your body, and of your life.

 

No sustainable development, no human rights and social justice -None of it is possible without full realisation of universal sexual and reproductive health and rights."

 

Hence DIVA for Equality's slogan, 'All women, all people all rights!'

 


DIVA for Equality Collective Member, Viva T attends 'Talanoa Mada Workshop, PTC, Suva, FIJI

Posted on 26 March, 2014 at 2:50

Talanoa Mada Workshop and growing coalition -How to use theatre and creativity in community justice work!

-Attended by DIVA for Equality Collective member, Viva will bring back her new knowledge and skills to help build DIVA for Equality's arts and diverse methodologies... 




Send in your art and writing -Speak up on LGBTIQ rights!

Posted on 26 March, 2014 at 2:40

Recognizing May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights is calling on all young activists to speak up on LGBTIQ rights through Free Expression!

Want to express LGBTIQ rights through the written word? Have a story or rights-based information? 

Want to express LGBTIQ rights through photography, video, design or other types of visual art? 

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) is an international organization of young people (ages 18-29 years) committed to promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights at the national, regional and international levels. We are students, researchers, lawyers, health care professionals, educators, development workers, and most importantly: we are all dedicated activists.

Submit Your Art: [email protected]

LGBTIQ Rights are Human Rights!

 

While we celebrate the advancements that countries worldwide have made in recognizing the rights of LGBTIQ people, including those of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, many still face discrimination and violence, among other human rights violations, because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

 

In recognition of the progress made and the challenges ahead, the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) invites young people (12-29 years old) to submit original work (posters, infographics, pictures, postcards, videos, etc) on the theme “LGBTIQ rights are human rights.” To create awareness of LGBT rights and the particular realities of young LGBT people, selected submissions will be featured on the YCSRR website and used during the YCSRR social media campaign during International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Submissions may also be considered for inclusion in the upcoming YCSRR Watchdog on IDAHOT.

Suggested submission subtopics (but not limited to):

Decriminalization of Homosexuality

Diverse Families

Homophobic Bullying

Free Expression

Each participant can submit up to three images or videos. The format of image files must be JPG. Videos should not exceed a length of three minutes and must meet the requirements found here: http://vimeo.com/help/compression.

Submission Requirements:

Emailed entries that are not received will not be considered.

All content must be original with all necessary copyright permissions. Content with copyright violations (including but not limited to background music used without permission or copyrighted images appearing in photograph/video) will not be considered.

Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

All entries must align with the YCSRR Principles and Values. Entries with homophobic or otherwise discriminatory content will not be considered, without exception.

Submissions from both professional and non-professionals are welcome.

All content submitted must be created entirely by a person or group of people aged 12-29, without exception.

Please include your full name, country of citizenship/residence and date of birth with your submission.

Deadline for Submissions:

Please send your submissions to Ani Colekessian at [email protected] with subject line “YCSRR IDAHOT Design Submission” no later than 10 April 2014.

Fiji Young Women's Forum Declaration, 16 March 2014

Posted on 26 March, 2014 at 2:30

 


DIVA for Equality is a co-convenor of the Fiji Young Women's Forum. Representing DIVA for Equality are Audrey S, Pat B and Viva T, who share the learnings and resources from DIVA into the wider forum process, and bring back the same for LBT specific work -Look out for an upcoming workshop in May 2014 in Suva, specifically for LBT young women, on human rights, democratisation and elections.

If you want to attend this 2 day workshop in may 2014 and you are a young LBT woman in Fiji, send an email to [email protected] and cc to [email protected] and we'll get back to you. Very limited numbers, so please email early, and no guarantees...


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Fiji Young Women’s Forum Declaration

16th March 2014

 

Declaration by the Fiji Young Women’s Forum on Young Women’s Participation and Representation in Political Spaces.

 

PREAMBLE:

 

The Fiji Young Women’s’ Forum convened by Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA), Emerging Leaders Forum Alumni (ELFA), Young Women Producers and Broadcasters- FemlinkPacific, and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), brought together young women leaders and activists aged 18 – 30 years from Fiji over two national forums to discuss barriers and strategies to young women’s meaningful participation and representation in Fiji’s democratisation process.

 

We, young Fijian women leaders, including transwomen, young women with disabilities, young women of both religious and non-religious beliefs, young lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer and intersex women, aspiring young women politicians, young women sex workers, rural young women, young women mental health consumers and young women in all our diversities, affirm our power as implementers and contributors of positive change, decision makers, partners and leaders of today and the future. Our strength is in our numbers and in our diversity. [1]

 

The forum builds on the initial Fiji Young Women’s Forum of 2013 and the rich tradition of activism and feminism by Fijian women throughout our national herstory[2] and is committed to representing young women throughout the country. We recognise the work of the many women who have gone before us and the gains that they have made for young women today. We acknowledge and respect the rich herstory of women’s participation in political spaces including social movements and we call for more recognition of this hard fraught journey.

 

This declaration is based on young women’s lived realities and is drafted using feminist perspectives[3].

 

Following the 2nd FYWF co-convened on 14th – 16th March 2014, the Young Women’s Declaration is a political document for the continuous advancement of Young Women’s representation, interests and needs. It sets out the critical issues faced by Fiji Young Women, and demands that political leaders address them throughout their manifestos and campaigns in local and national elections as well as post elections.

 

We the young women of Fiji are concerned about the lack of inclusion of Young Women’s voices, interests and needs in decision making spaces.

 

We hereby adopt this Young Women’s Declaration as an affirmation of our commitment to encouraging and supporting Young Women’s participation in Fiji’s local and national elections.

 

We call upon the government and its institutions, political parties and candidates, and civil society to also commit to adopting and implementing the demands of this Declaration.

 

 

We call for immediate action to the following demands:

 

1. YOUNG WOMEN’S ACTIVE, MEANINGFUL, CIVIL AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

 

The Fiji Young Women’s Forum urges local and national governments, political parties and candidates, private and public sectors to implement Temporary Special Measures to increase young women’s representation and participation in decision making. This will enable our State to comply with CEDAW which Fiji ratified in 1995, and further increase and enhance the ability of Young Women to actively participate in all decisions that affect our lives. The Forum further asserts that transformative change is not just about the policies of parties but also party structures that are inclusive and human rights based.

 

Fiji Young Women demand that our leaders consult and include Young Women with disabilities when developing political manifestos that should be easily accessed in every way and that represent the interests, concerns and needs of persons with disabilities. It is important to have inclusive and accessible consultations when drafting laws that affect Young Women’s abilities to exercise their civic rights. These laws must be accessible by women of all diversities.

 

Fiji Young Women demand of our leaders to ensure the promotion of substantive equality that protects the rights, interests and needs of all Young Women, regardless of sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions. Political parties and candidates are to assert their positions on protecting the rights and interests of LGBTQI Young Women. We strongly insist these leaders to utilise the internationally recognized Yogyokarta Principles[4] in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that commits leaders to the needs and interests of Young Women.

 

2. YOUNG WOMEN’S ACCESS to SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

 

The Young Women’s Forum affirms that Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights must be realised. We stress that bodily integrity and autonomy is at the core of all work on SRHR, we call for comprehensive sexual education, information, services and commodities that are available to everyone including members of the LGBTQI community and persons with disabilities.

 

Young women should have full ownership of our own bodies and sexual health, and are entitled to reproductive health rights and be free from all kinds of exploitation including forced commercial sexual exploitation.

 

The State, political parties and candidates must recognize alternative occupations such as sex work. Young Women call upon our leaders to commit to the promotion of enabling and safe environments in line with the Pataya Declaration.[5] Young Women demand that sex workers have the same rights as all Young Women.

 

3. YOUNG WOMEN ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY

 

The Fiji Young Women’s Forum affirms that Democracy, the Rule of Law and the full enjoyment of one’s Human Rights are closely linked. We call upon the State, Political Parties and Candidates to adhere to the principles of democracy including the separation of powers between the executive, the judiciary and the legislative.

 

Young Women demand that religion and state must remain separate.

 

The Fiji Young Women’s Forum is deeply disappointed that young women and the citizens of Fiji were not inclusively consulted in the development of the States’ budget and the abolishment of the Public Accounts Committee. Young women mandate that our leaders are obligated and accountable to ensure gender equality, transparency and human rights are translated into legislation, policy and budget allocations through inclusive consultations and which become the norms and standards that guide the principles of our society.

 

The forum calls for the reinstatement of the People’s Constitution which was drafted by the Constitutional Commissioners headed by Professor Yash Ghai with over 7000 submissions including groups and individual submissions from all over Fiji.

 

We highlight the importance of the role of the media in a sustainable democracy and call on political leaders to commit to the principles of Free media with a strong emphasis on balanced reporting and responsible journalism.

 

4. EDUCATION

 

Young Women demand a commitment to the review of the Fiji education system with particular emphasis on accessibility to the Girl Child and Young Women, regardless of disability, sexual orientation, identities and expressions. The State must provide safe counselling services by professionals in school systems to address issues of all forms of bullying and violence at homes and in schools.

 

The forum calls for affirmation action programs directed at the enhancement of Young Women’s assistance in formal and informal education, and other opportunities that enhance Young Women development.

 

Young Women are appalled at the rising number of cases of sexual exploitation of young girls and women. The Young Women forum calls upon the State to fully endorse the current Family Life Education policy without limitations and in compliance with the CRC which Fiji ratified in 1993 where the interests of the child is paramount. We demand that the education system be reviewed to include age appropriate[6] comprehensive, compulsory sex education for students and educators at early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary levels to prevent and highlight sexual exploitation. The curriculum needs to be developed in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders and reviewed periodically.

 

Together with effective policing, educators and leaders have the ability to eradicate sexual exploitation.

 

Schools are powerful social and cultural institutions in constructing gender identity as they have a major influence on girls and boys and how they see themselves and each other. The formal and informal curriculums employed in schools shape children’s understandings about gender and the performance of gendered identity. We demand the promotion of high-quality gender identity and relations teaching and learning at all educational levels including early years settings (childcare and kindergartens).

 

5. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 

We are currently living in a time of escalated social, economic, and environmental crisis. We urgently seek full and decent employment and economic empowerment for all young Fijian women. We call for the meaningful participation of young women in the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of development goals, policies and indicators at all levels.

 

Young People including Young Women make up approximately 47% of Fiji’s voting population. This means that a critical mass of the voting population holds the potential to decide the leadership of this country. Young Women want concrete strategies from political parties & candidates on how they will address the rising levels of unemployment. Leaders must identify best practices of young women employment programmes as practices vary depending on the target population. Assisting these are feasibility studies on the creation of new industries, suitable for Fiji’s young women population, which must be undertaken in consultation with a representative sample of young women.

 

Young Women demand the promotion of young women to pursue education and employment in male dominated fields. The State must commit to the advancement of Young Women in self-employment initiatives and small businesses by providing necessary support and services including financial assistance, training and development, and access to markets, regardless of Young Women’s status, location, and social standing.

 

The young women’s forum is deeply concerned with the rapid expansion of the extractive industry in Fiji. We call on our leaders to adopt sustainable development options that do not further exacerbate widespread environmental degradation as this further commodifies and compounds the burden on young women, social relationships, communities and societies at large, increasing the labour required to meet basic needs.

 

6. YOUNG WOMEN in PEACE and SECURITY

 

Young Women’s Human Security[7] must be placed at the forefront by political parties and candidates. Putting Young Women’s security first ensures gender inclusive development plans and processes from the local to the global level. It means connecting Peace and Development, and further enhances the State and its leaders along the principles of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 titled Women, Peace and Security[8].

 

We acknowledge and recognise the role of women including, young women, rural women, women peace builders, human rights defenders, in conflict prevention and peace building. We call on the state, the security sector, political parties and candidates to acknowledge the capacity of women and Young Women and their ability to contribute to decision making. There is a need to take a peace building, inclusive, conflict preventive approach to development. We call for the protection of women Human Rights defenders.

 

7. YOUNG WOMEN FOR JUSTICE

 

In solidarity with the women’s movement, the FYWF urges the State to reconsider its decision to relocate the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Family Law Court and the Juvenile Court to Veiuto where the Parliamentary complex is currently located. The proposed move will unfairly shift the burden of accessing the justice system to the people, and is not an incentive for young women to seek redress through the Courts.

 

CONCLUDING REMARKS:

 

We the Young Women of Fiji, call on the State’s alignment to principles and processes of Free and Fair Elections, such as the levelling of the current unequal playing field and that rules and regulations are not oppressive to political parties and independent candidates. We demand that the elections process is transparent and that citizens, candidates and all other stakeholders are informed in a timely manner regarding electoral developments and law.

 

To facilitate our return to democracy, Fiji Young Women call for the removal of oppressive laws and decrees. We note the invisibility of women in the media as powerful agents of change and call for balanced and accurate reporting and documenting of women free from negative stereotypical biases. We note the role of community media and alternative media in facilitating the flow of information, and express the need for the respect for media freedom.

 

We commit to work together in solidarity towards gender equality, participatory democracy, the rule of law and the meaningful participation of young women in local, national, regional and global decision making bodies.

 

 

For more information contact Tavai Bale: 9990869

 

 

[1] Diversity – including young women who are single mothers, mothers, women from different ethnic backgrounds, young women in de-facto relationships, young women living with and affected by HIV.

 

[2] Herstory – account, realties and experiences from a female or specifically a feminist perspective.

 

[3] Perspectives that encompasses women’s human rights. Feminist theory is the study of gender, patriarchy and oppression of the woman.

 

[4] International application of the international human rights law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).

 

[5] Represents a unified rights based approach to the reduction of HIV, violence and discrimination amongst sex workers in the Asia Pacific region.

 

[6] The reference to “age appropriate” is deemed to mean education that is “consistent with the evolving capacities of [children], adolescents and young people to be able to make responsible and informed decisions and exercise their right to control all aspects of their sexuality, protect themselves from [sexual exploitation] and unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, to promote values of tolerance, mutual respect and non violence in relationships, and to plan their lives, while recognizing the role and responsibilities of parents, as well as of teachers and peer educators, to support them in doing so.” http://www.un-ngls.org/IMG/pdf/Analysis_of_ESCAP_6th_APPC_by_DAWN_RESURJ_and_IWHC.pdf

 

[7] Human security – challenging the traditional notion of national security by arguing that the proper referent for security is the individual and not the state (women constitute half of the population making women security is important.

 

[8] UNSCR 1325 – first ever resolution passed that recognised the role of women in conflict prevention and peace building. Ensures that women and young women are involved at all levels of decision making; local, national, regional and international levels.

Source: DIVA collective, and...

http://fwrm.org.fj/index.php/news/media-releases/2014/330-young-women-s-declaration

LBT Caucus Statement @ CSW58 -Delivered by Kenita Placide of United and Strong, St Lucia

Posted on 26 March, 2014 at 2:20

 

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CSW58: Statement of the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans* Caucus and Allies

Statement of the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans* Caucus and Allies at 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

 

March 21, 2014

 

We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations and individuals present at the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, are outraged that, despite the United Nations’ decade-long commitment to anti-discrimination, governments failed to meet their obligations towards all women. They have done this by ignoring evidence of and broad regional support for sexual rights, the right to development, and the need to recognize a diversity of families, sexualities, and gender identities.

 

We are deeply disappointed at this attempt to render our experiences, communities, and families invisible.

 

We have been told that sexual orientation and gender identity are “too controversial” or that they have nothing to do with this year’s focus for the Commission’s debate: development. We know better. And so do the governments gathered here, though many appear to willfully ignore the evidence.

 

This year’s Commission on the Status Women takes place in the middle of on-going UN discussions about new, universally applicable, development goals, the Post-2015 agenda. This agenda must acknowledge the devastating impact of discrimination and marginalization in our lives everywhere. Study after study concludes that individuals stigmatized or targeted because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity face discrimination, violence and bullying that can force us out of learning environments. People assumed to be lesbian, bisexual, or trans* are kicked out of housing or denied employment, affecting our lives and earning potential. Legal and socially condoned discrimination against our communities marginalizes many of us, putting us at additional risk of violence, HIV, and other health problems. Discrimination and stigma further prevent us from seeking needed care. Too often, the result is preventable suffering and poverty.

 

We are outraged at the continued criminalization of our organizing and the relentless attacks on our human rights. These violations take place in all regions. Dialogue and democracy require respect for diversity, not criminal sanctions for human rights defenders, health professionals, and anyone who does not adhere to prevailing social mores. No one benefits from the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. Quite to the contrary, as the World Bank recently concluded, hateful policies have both an economic and a personal cost.

 

We are incensed at the lack of recognition of these issues in the Agreed Conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women. When world governments come together at the United Nations, they have an obligation to transcend hatred and build on existing knowledge. Instead, we have seen several governments perpetuate divisiveness and myths, and many more remain silent in face of political pressure and bullying. We all know that sexual orientation and gender identity have been an undercurrent in the discussions on a number of “controversial” issues. And we are tired of the willful ignorance, tepid support or overt bowing to geopolitical pressures that make simple recognition of our lives and communities impossible.

 

We are appalled by the political and ideological excuses put forward to justify the exclusion of language related to sexual orientation or gender identity in the Agreed Conclusions. Governments have already made agreements on many of the topics and issues that are being positioned as “most controversial” at the Commission on the Status of Women. The push to roll back language that has been agreed decades ago is disingenuous. In 2014, we know better. Our social justice movements have moved on and we need governments to catch up.

 

Everyone is entitled to human rights regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. These rights are neither controversial nor negotiable. Development, equality, and enjoyment of human rights for all will never be realized if a small number of governments, as well as the Holy See, continue to deny the reality that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are human beings.

 

Despite the attempt to render us invisible, we draw strength from the knowledge that we are anything but invisible. Throughout these two weeks at the Commission on the Status of Women, we have clearly, publicly, and repeatedly drawn attention to both the discrimination and marginalization we face and their devastating impact on development, as well as our global resistance and activism in the face of adversity.

 

And we are not alone. Delegations from several regions stood up for our human rights and for the need to overcome violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity in order to achieve any development goals. We are pleased to see the increasing support of certain states from global South. We are grateful to those who spoke up for the inclusion of our human rights, and we commend them for their leadership.

 

The Post-2015 agenda is meant to focus on sustainable development, a multidimensional concept that has ecological, economic and social dimensions, of which respect for sexual and reproductive rights and diverse sexualities and gender identities is a crucial part. We should not have to wait any longer to be recognized again in UN negotiations that directly impact our communities and lives. We refuse to be rendered invisible, or to have development policies touted as progress even as they ignore, marginalize or create further risk for us. We demand the creation of specific analysis and development targets for meaningful and equal recognition in education, work, governance, economy, social security and other areas of concern.

 

The recognition and fulfillment of the rights and needs of all groups, regardless of sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, is a crucial step towards sustainable development of all nations. It is time for governments to acknowledge what we all know to be true.

 

Signed

 

Organizations:

 

ACDemocracia – Acción Ciudadana por la Democracia y el Desarrollo (Ecuador)

Advocates for Youth (USA)

Agrupación Feminista LGBTI ‘las insumisas de Lilith’ (Peru)

AIDS Action Foundation (AAF) (St. Lucia)

Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain)

Articulación Feminista Marcosur (South America regional)

ASTRA Network and Federation for Women and Family Planning (Poland)

Atria, Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History (The Netherlands)

Balance (Mexico)

Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) (Caribbean regional)

Center for Women’s Global Leadership (USA)

Closet de Sor Juana AC (Mexico)

COC Netherlands (Netherlands)

Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local (El Salvador)

Consorcio para el Diálogo parlamentario y la Equidad AC (Mexico)

Cotidiano Mujer (Uruguay)

Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (Fiji)

Engajamundo (Brazil)

Equidad, Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos (Per)

Equidad de género: ciudadanía, trabajo y familia, AC (Mexico)

Equis: Justicia para las Mujeres (Mexico)

Feminist Task Force (Global)

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (Fiji)

FOKUS – Forum for women and development (Norway)

Fundación Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad Sexual AC (Mexico)

Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM) (Argentina)

GenderProud (USA)

Gestos, HIV, Communication and Gender (Brazil)

INTER-MUJERES (Puerto Rico)

International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (Global)

International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) (Global)

International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association Latin America/Caribbean (ILGA LAC)(Latin America/Caribbean regional)

International Centre for Sexual Reproductive Rights (INCRESE) (Nigeria)

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) (USA)

International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) (USA)

Ipas (USA)

Iranti-Org (South Africa)

Italian Association for Women in Development (Italy)

LACCASO, Latin American and the Caribbean Council of AIDS (Latin America/Caribbean regional)

Movimiento de Mujeres de Sectores Populares Luna Creciente (Ecuador)

Pacific Sexual Diversity Network (Tonga)

Pacific Feminist SRHR Coalition (Pacific regional)

Pacific Youth Council (Pacific regional)

Plataforma Nacional de las Mujeres (Ecuador)

PROFAMILIA (Puerto Rico)

Punto Género AC (Mexico)

Rainbow Rights Project (The Philippines)

Real People, Real Vision NGO (Georgia)

Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ) (Global)

Red Nacional de Mujeres (Colombia)

Red Salvadoreña de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (El Salvador)

RSFL, Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (Sweden)

RSFU, Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (Sweden)

S.H.E, Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa, Africa Regional Initiative (South Africa)

Society Without Violence NGO (Armenia)

Solidarity Alliance for Human Rights (Nigeria)

SPoD, Social Policies Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (Turkey)

Tonga Leitis Association (Tonga)

United & Strong (St. Lucia)

Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (Global)

Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) (USA)

World YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Coalition) (Global)


Individuals:

 

Adrienne Germain, President Emerita, International Women’s Health Coalition (USA)

Cecilia Espinoza, Ipas (Nicaragua)

Claire Tatyzo, YWCA (Australia)

Clara Fok, human rights activist (Hong Kong)

Cynthia Rothschild, independent activist (USA)

Jessica Notwell, YWCA Global (Canada)

Kate Tully, women’s rights advocate (Australia)

Lalaine P. Viado, independent activist/women’s human rights consultant (The Philippines)

Laurie Gayle, YWCA GB (United Kingdom)

Leigh Ann van der Merwe, S.H.E. (South Africa)

Marcia Banasko, YWCA GB (United Kingdom)

May Sifuentes, human rights advocate (Mexico/USA)

Nathalie Margi, human rights consultant (France/USA)

Nicole Duffau Valdes, lawyer (Chile)

Nive Sharat Chandran, YWCA of Aotearoa/New Zealand (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Patricia Ackerman, Director of Women’s Studies, City College of New York (USA)

Sagrario Monedero, Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain)

Sara Beatriz García Gross, feminist activist (El Salvador)

Sumie Ogasawara, YWCA of Japan (Japan)

Vanessa Brocato, JD, human rights advocate (USA)


Source: http://www.youthcoalition.org/un-processes/csw58-statement-lesbian-bisexual-trans-caucus-allies/

LBT Activists and Allies Call on Governments to Stop Using Rights as Bargaining Chips

Posted on 26 March, 2014 at 1:30


LBT Activists and Allies Call on Governments to Stop Using Rights as Bargaining Chips

(New York, March 21, 2014) Governments at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) ignored evidence of and regional support for key elements of sustainable development in its declaration adopted today, said a coalition of lesbian, bisexual women, trans* (LBT) and allied activists and organizations present at the United Nations in a statement released today. (Read the full statement by the coalition online.)

 

The Commission, a 45-member standing committee of the United Nations General Assembly which meets annually, has spent the past 2 weeks discussing development needs for women. Despite a 20-year legacy of UN prohibition of discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and increasingly gender identity, delegates gave in to pressure from a small number of vocal states and the Holy See, to render these violations invisible.

 

“We all know that sexual orientation and gender identity have been used disingenuously this week to undermine a number of issues” said Noelene Nabulivou, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji, “There has been enormous pressure on governments to pretend development goals can be achieved without us. This is both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.”

 

Sixty-two organizations and several individual activists from across the world signed a strong call for action on the occasion, and said of the process: “We are tired of the willful ignorance, tepid support or overt bowing to geopolitical pressures that make simple recognition of our lives and communities impossible.”

 

The human rights of people targeted because of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression have long been recognized by UN entities and expert bodies as part of general human rights protections. However, some governments continue to create conditions that limit the ability for all people to enjoy these rights.

 

“When we are criminalized, when governments and communities seek to silence us, when we are treated as less than human, all of this affects our ability to provide for ourselves and our families,” said Josefina Valencia, Clóset de Sor Juana, Mexico. “This has a devastating effect not just on us, but on everyone in our communities.”

 

The Commission on the Status of Women deliberations this year are part of a broader United Nations process to define the key component of sustainable development, named the Post-2015 agenda. While regional input to this process has identified the need to address people of diverse sexualities and gender identities as beneficiaries of development, this understanding was subordinated to political bargaining during the CSW negotiations.

 

“Some countries, in particular from the global South, stood up for what everyone knows is right: the need to address violence, discrimination and marginalization in our communities,” said Nori Spauwen, COC Netherlands. “So although others were silent, it’s important for all of us to see this support, and to feel the advances we are making in these spaces, even when our lives are not noted in print”.

 

Despite disappointments, LBT activists, organizations, and allies noted long term successful trends both in the global South and North. They celebrated their strong presence and ability to speak up about the issues affecting women of diverse sexualities and gender identities. On March 20, Kenita Placide of United & Strong, an LGBT organization based in St. Lucia, delivered a powerful statement to the Commission on behalf of 76 organizations from across the world, calling for delegates to take a strong stance against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

“This is neither the beginning nor the end,” said Lalaine P. Viado, independent activist from the Philippines. “We are not going away, and we expect governments to step up.”

 

For further information:

 

Eugenia López Uribe, Executive Director, Balance, Mexico, email: [email protected], phone:+52 15 554 534 341

 

Nori Spauwen, International Advocacy Officer, COC Netherlands, email: [email protected], phone: +31 611748008

 

Lalaine P. Viado, independent women’s rights activist, The Philippines, email:[email protected], Skype: lalaine_p_viado

 

Josefina Valencia, Clóset de Sor Juana AC, Mexico, email: [email protected], Skype: jaravato

 

 

--

Ends

DIVA for Equality Blog - 2013 in Review

Posted on 29 December, 2013 at 1:35

Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality started at the end of 2011 in Suva Fiji, as a small but determined LBT feminist collective, mainly unpaid staff, very few resources except ourselves, and big dreams. Since then, the work continues to evolve on feminist transformation, gender equality, sexual rights, social justice, ecological and economic justice.

We work in Fiji, regionally in the Pacific and globally as needed and able. The journey continues, so here's a re-cap of 2013 - a full, tough, fun and challenging year. We enter 2014 strong and focused, building Diverse Voices and Action for Equality steadily, and with care.


FEBRUARY



Pacific Feminists and Activists: Re-framing, Re-articulating and Re-energizing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights!

From 12-15 February 2013, DIVA for Equality co-convened a workshop in Nadi, Fiji on sexual and reproductive health and rights with DAWN, Fiji Women's Rights Movement and Pacific Youth Council. Out of that initial regional meeting where women and trans* people from key Pacific civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and alliances gathered to take stock of the progress in SRHR made over the past 20 years by State and non-State actors, an innovative coalition has been formed. 

Thirty two participants from Chuuk Federated States of Micronesia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu met and mapped their work, and they are now connected via a closed email list where we share resources and strategy. Much work has emerged from these beginings, including this outcome statement, our work toward the strong Moana Declaration from the Pacific Parliamentarians meeting in Suva, Fiji, from 13 – 15 August 2013 for the Pacific Conference of Parliamentarians for Advocacy on ICPD beyond 2014, and the work into the very strong results of the Sixth Asia Pacific Population Conference. With allies and many others, DIVA for Equality is now slowly building analysis, advocacy and network-building in 2013-14, and looking forward to our role in strengthening and building on this coalition in 2014 and beyond.


UPCOMING IN 2014:

  • SRHR and gender equality activities including specific focus on inclusion of priorities of all women, girls and transpeople, including lesbian, bisexual women and trans*masculine people in Fiji -analysis, advocacy and activism; and solidarity work with wider groups including LBT south-south networking (More updates on blog as they happen)


  • Participation in SRHR regional ad-hoc working group, facilitated by SPC-RRRT;


  • Participation in CPD47 and ICPD Beyond 2014;


  • Pacific Feminist SRHR coalition activities, including with LBT, LGBTIQ, feminist, women's rights groups, Pacific and SIDS states, development institutions, and wider allies;


  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;

 

--------------------


MARCH

DIVA for Equality makes intervention at Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 57th Session, New York, US

 On 11 March 2013 Noelene Nabulivou made an official intervention to the Commission on the Status of Women Session 57, on behalf of Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality; the CSW LBT caucus and over 80 LGBTIQ++ groups and networks endorsing the statement. The intervention was well-received, including from many south and north States, CSOs and social movements. Here is Noelene's intervention, on YouTube. Please see our page, 'Statements and Declarations' for the full text of that statement.


UPCOMING IN 2014:  

  • Increased local skill-sharing, referrals and advocacy on gender equality and sexuality rights, addressing persistent inequalities, etc. (More updates on blog as they happen);


  • In March 2014 DIVA for Equality will again be part of CSW58 preparations and negotiations, in New York. Priority theme: Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.Review theme: Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (agreed conclusions from the fifty-fifth session). Emerging issue: To be determined


  • Look out for live updates to our blog, facebook and twitter pages. See more, here.


  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;

 

------------------


MAY - JUNE


In February 2013 DIVA for Equality approached the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement with a proposal for sponsorship of jerseys for a new women's rugby team, the Central Chiefs. FWRM logo and 'Balancing the Power' are on the jerseys. DIVA for Equality and Central Chiefs continue to help raise awareness of FWRM's campaign on gender equality and women's political participation, and with a focus on Temporary Special Measures (TSM) as part of the Fiji Constitution. 


DIVA for Equality also helped the team to fundraise for equipment, fees and such, and approached USAID for a small grant to assist Central Chiefs Women’s Rugby Team to participate in the nationally-recognised Marist 7’s Rugby Tournament in 30th May – 1st June 2013. This included a live-in 6 day camp in preparation for the tournament, and support during the tournament itself. The team was finally placed at sixth place. Since the Marist Sevens, some members of Central Chiefs have taken part in advocacy work (see below), and will be included in various 2014 work. 


UPCOMING IN 2014:

  • Gender Equality and Sports Programme begins (More updates on blog as it happens);


  • DIVA for Equality will take part in the Asia-Pacific Outgames, including the Human rights, sports and cultural programmes (Fundraising continues -TBC on numbers participating);


  • More work with FWRM on the 'Balancing the Power' campaign, the Fiji Women's Forum, and the Fiji Young Women's Forum (see below);


  • Continuing to build links with UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;


---------------------

MAY



DIVA for Equality participated in a Haus Krai hosted by Fiji Women’s Crisis Center and the Pacific Regional Network against Violence against Women. DIVA and the Central Chiefs women's rugby team attended with local PNG activists and community,  and other feminist, women's rights and human rights groups. DIVA also co-presented a petition to the PNG High commission, in Suva, Fiji. Led by women's groups in PNG, DIVA for Equality and others continue to help to raise awareness on an end to all forms of sexual and gender based violence, and call for most urgent prioritisation by all Pacific states, and the international community.  Please note that the Outcome statement of the Pacific Feminist SRHR meeting in February (see above) included this work as an urgent priority.

UPCOMING IN 2014:
  • Urgent action support and solidarity work with Fiji, PNG, women advocates, regional and global campaigns on ending sexual and gender based violence, including sorcery-related killings in PNG and elsewhere;

  • Building more transformative feminist spaces to discuss gender and sexuality, culture, faith, change and fluidity in the Pacific;

  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;


--------------------------

MAY-JUNE





JOINT PIFS-SPC REGIONAL CSO DIALOGUE ON CONFLICT, PEACE & SECURITY


DIVA for Equality, along with many feminist, youth, women's rights and development allies took part in the Joint PIFS-SPC regional CSO dialogue on conflict, peace and security, held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva, from 6-10 May 2013. 

This CSO Dialogue was attended by civil society representatives from Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Participants were representative of national, regional and international1 humanitarian and human rights organisations working on disability, health, education, humanitarian assistance, climate change, environment, mining and fisheries, economics, law, gender equality, sexual orientation and gender identities, youth, good governance, peace and security, and community media. Groups including Femlink Pacific, Punanga Tauturu, Tonga Women's and Children's Centre, Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, Pacific Youth Councils, Pacific Disability Forum, and others were part of this diverse dialogue.

As part of the outcomes, there was released a PACIFIC CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT on 10 May 2013 that included strong and useful sexual rights and gender equality language, see here. 

On 7 June 2013, Shirley Tagi of DIVA for Equality also presented key aspects of the CSO dialogue outcomes to the Pacific Forum Security Committee, whose report is included into the Pacific Leaders Meeting in 2013 held in Majuro, Marshall Isllands. The Committee (FRSC) welcomed this presentation from Pacific civil society organisations (CSOs) on urgent human rights and security issues, and the wide range of recommendations presented by Shirley Tagi, Coordinator of Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality.  The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, said: ‘I reiterate our commitment to continue to work with civil society on all common areas of interest and I also commend this committee for its initiative to strengthen engagement with civil society,’ 

SG Slade ALSO advised the committee of the establishment of a Forum Working Group to assist the Forum Secretariat explore the possibility of establishing regional human rights mechanisms in the Pacific, which is a key recommendation from the civil society partners. (The newly established Human Rights Expert Working Group met briefly with the CSOs at the dialogue, and since this meeting, Samoa has established a Human Rights Commission, with others to come). See here for the official media release from SPC.

 

UPCOMING IN 2014: 
  • Increased skill-sharing and advocacy on links between gender equality and social justice, civil and political rights, economic and ecological justice and rights, demilitarisation and peacebuilding, including areas of urgent action (Updates on blog as they happen); 

  • Ensure that diverse groups are included in direct consultations with Pacific governments, Also strengthened participation of DIVA for Equality, diverse women, young people and others in FRSC and other PIFS-facilitated processes, with SPC-RRRT, UN agencies including UNWomen, and widely with CSOs and social movements;

  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;

----------------

JULY

   


DIVA FOR EQUALITY INPUTS INTO THE UN-NGLS CONSULTATION AND REPORT: ADVANCING REGIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

Along with FWRM/Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Pacific Students Association, Pacific Disabilities Council and others, DIVA for Equality took part in a UN-NGLS facilitated Pacific teleconference consultation on Tuesday, 2 July, represented by Noelene Nabulivou.

These regional consultations have resulted in a report "Advancing Regional Recommendations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda," the synthesis of a four-month consultation conducted in writing and via teleconferences with 120 regional civil society networks. The report can be downloaded here 

 This work gathered critical analysis from civil society on the UN post-2015 development agenda, including in the Pacific.  The report was delivered to the United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, Heads of State and Government attending the General Assembly Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals on 25 September, and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG on SDGs).

This report also formed the basis of a day of dialogue between civil society and UN Member States on 22 September 2013 at United Nations HQ, New York regarding regional recommendations toward the post-2015 development agenda - where DIVA for Equality/DAWN EC member Noelene Nabulivou also spoke with other civil society, see here.  

Noelene spoke to government delegates, UN agencies, IFIs, CSOs and social movement representatives on the importance of face-to-face meetings and inclusion of civil society from all regions in discussions towards sustainable development. Civil society and social movements should be considered as equal partners in sustainable development and toward the post-2015 agenda, she said. She drew attention to the persistent inequalities that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, intersex people; people with disabilities; young people, people living in rural and remote settings, and others. She also highlighted the need to address persistent inequalities at all levels, and to link sustainable development issues including individual, community, State, and within global economic governance

 A subsequent report that integrates contributions from national and international civil society organizations with these regional perspectives will be delivered in December 2013 to the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, and the OWG on SDGs.

UN-NGLS has synthesized the findings according to four main objectives for the post-2015 development agenda, which surfaced through clear convergence of priorities identified by regional civil society networks:

• Rebalance power relations for justice

• Fulfill human rights and overcome exclusion

• Ensure equitable distribution and safe use of natural resources

• Establish participatory governance, accountability and transparency


UPCOMING IN 2014:

  • Connecting more DIVA work between local, regional and global spaces, and insisting that civil society voices, including those of south women advocates, are heard and acted upon for development alternatives; (Updates on blog as they happen);


  • Contributing to strongest possible input of diverse Pacific women and trans* people into the Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and working with LBT, feminist, human rights and social movement allies to strengthen and support meaningful input into national, regional and global negotiations;


  • Continuing to emphasise specific needs of Pacific small island states and Least Developed Countries into the negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals;

 

---------------------------


 OCTOBER 






PACIFIC YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE WORKSHOP;
ADVOCACY AT THE 12TH TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF PACIFIC WOMEN;
5TH MEETING OF PACIFIC WOMEN MINISTERS, RAROTONGA, COOK ISLANDS.
(18-20 OCTOBER, 20-23 OCTOBER AND 24-25 OCTOBER)

DIVA was part of the PYWLA workshop and advocacy praxis for young Pacific women, from all across the region. You can find more information on the event here, and the Triennial Outcome Statement here. There was general agreement by the Pacific state delegates, women's machineries, regional development institutions and CSOs that having 26 young Pacific women working actively to input into the Triennial led to critical outcomes overall both in terms of commitments by all stakeholders reflected in the Outcome statements for the Triennial and Ministerial meetings, and overall in terms of increased momentum in networking and movement-building for the women's movement in our region.

UPCOMING IN 2014:

 

  • Followup from the 12th triennial and 5th ministerial (Updates on blog as they happen)


  • Skill-sharing and advocacy on links between gender equality, social, economic and ecological justice and rights, demilitarisation and peacebuilding, including areas of urgent action (Updates on blog as they happen)


  • Ensure that diverse groups are included in direct consultations with Pacific governments, Also strengthened participation of DIVA for Equality, young people and others in FRSC and other PIFS-facilitated processes, with SPC-RRRT, UN agencies including UNWomen, and widely with CSOs and social movements;


  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;

 


-------------


NOVEMBER




(PHOTOs: FWRM/ELF. Pls contact me if unattributed)

FIJI YOUNG WOMEN'S FORUM

In November, Audrey Seru, Viva Tatawaqa and Pa Buadromo represented DIVA for Equality in co-convening the first-ever Fiji Young Women's Forum - with the Emerging Leaders Forum, Generation Next, and YWCA Fiji. Audrey, accompanied by Pa, was on the Convening Committee, while Viva was at the Forum as a member of the Info-Comm team.


The Outcome document is strong, and includes substantive language on sexual orientation and gender identity, interlinkage approaches, and human rights framed development alteratives. Please use/reference the Outcome statement to ensure it gets out widely, found here.

UPCOMING IN 2014:

 

  • Continue to co-convene with the Fiji Young Women's Forum, and other intergenerational work in the region (Updates on blog as happens)


  • Skill-sharing and advocacy by/with young LBT and intergenerationally on links between gender equality, social, economic and ecological justice and rights, demilitarisation and peacebuilding, including areas of urgent action (Updates on blog as they happen)


  • Ensure that diverse young women, lesbians, bisexual women and trans* people are included in direct consultations with Pacific governments, Also strengthened participation of DIVA for Equality, young people and others in FRSC and other PIFS-facilitated processes, with SPC-RRRT, UN agencies including UNWomen, and widely with CSOs and social movements;


  • Continuing to build links with the UNWomen CSAGs (Pacific and Asia-Pacific); Pacific CROP Gender Working Group Partnership meetings, Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance, Women's Major Group on Sustainable Development, and with wider feminist allies;

 

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER



DIVA XMAS DOZEN RAFFLE

The draw was held at an end-of-year picnic, on International Human RIghts Day. Congratulations Taru! 

UPCOMING IN 2014:

  • We continue with fundraising initiatives -small, medium and large, covering core and project funding; Central to the collective's vision is for all members to build and share portable work skills while they are part of DIVA for Equality - and that the work of DIVA for Equality will continue regardless.  The revolution will not be funded, but we all need paid work for sustainability and survival! So thanks for your support everyone!

  • Upcoming workshops on right to decent work, re-claiming and valuing non-monetised, unpaid and care work in micro and macro economics, tax justice, development justice, climate justice and much, much more (Updates on the blog as it happens).

More activity reviews will be added. Please check back later.

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