Press Release: Launch of the Pacific Feminists Charter for Change
The 2016 Pacific Feminist Charter was launched at the Pacific Feminist Forum at the University of the South Pacific today.
The outcomes document titled 'Pacific Feminists Charter for Change' reflected the issues raised during the three days of discussions.
Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Michelle Reddy said developing the charter was an enriching experience for a lot of participants, who had a chance to hear about the different issues from around the region.
"It’s been a historic moment bringing over a hundred feminists from Fiji and 12 other Pacific Island countries together, to a space of vibrant discussions where we’re able to talk about issues that we face in the Pacific.”
Miki Wali of the Haus of Khameleon said the document captures Pacific feminist perspectives and priorities.
“It talks about our diversities, who we are, the multiple intersecting forms of violence that we are facing in the Pacific. It’s a process where we were able to tell our stories and inform everyone, those with authority, about our challenges.”
Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality Noelene Nabulivou said the charter documented the voices of Pacific Feminists to map out effective processes in furthering gender equality and women's human rights in the Pacific.
“During the process of developing the charter, we found that women across the Pacific are really interested in universal human rights, social economic and ecological justice. It’s not just about women and girls but about equity and fairness for everyone.”
Pacific Young Women Leadership Alliance member Yoshiko Capelle said,
“We’re only going to move forward. It’s great to have a strong feminist movement that supports and encourages young women in the Pacific who are still trying to find their journey.”
Stage set for Inaugural Pacific Feminist Forum
Feminists and women's human rights defenders from across the region will gather, specifically as Pacific Islanders, for the first time at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji as part of the Pacific Feminist Forum in November this year.
“This is an important forum, besides being the first of its kind, it will help mobilize and strengthen the women's movement in the Pacific,” said Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) Acting Executive Director Michelle Reddy.
“Pacific feminists are always present at global spaces lobbying for issues important to us, but there has never been a space in our own region to engage and strengthen solidarity," she said.
"The forum is a unique opportunity to come together and celebrate our achievements as well as learn from each other and build new relationships."
This is in line with the overall PFF theme, "Mapping Journeys and Building Movements." The 3-day forum will consist of a series of workshops aligned to the theme, plenaries open to the public and closed plenaries exclusively for PFF participants, information booths and market set-ups. Additionally, the forum dates fall on important milestones within the human rights calendar and for the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement itself.
"The forum takes place in November 28, 29, 30 which is part of the 16 Days of Activism," said Reddy. "This is also especially important to us as it commemorates Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day and FWRM’s 30th anniversary."
The Forum is set to bring together around 100 women and human rights activists from 22 island states including Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Republic of Marshall Islands, Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The forum is organised by the Fiji Women's Rights Movement in partnership with Bold Alliance, Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, Haus of Khameleon, the Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance (PYWLA), International Women's Development Agency (IWDA), the University of the South Pacific, UN Women, the Westpac Women's Markets and FemLINKPACIFIC. This activity is supported through the We Rise 2 program, with the We Rise Coalition, and funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).