DIVERSE VOICES AND ACTION FOR EQUALITY fiji  

for equality - all women, all people, all rights and justice, everywhere

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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;

 

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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;

 

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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;


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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;


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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;

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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;

 

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 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;

 


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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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