FemLINKPACIFIC's work is grounded in our desire for peace and security for women, not only in their homes and communities, but also ensuring that they are visible and heard in dialogue and peace processes. It gives life to our values of non violence, including in communication, and feminist practices, including through the sharing of technology from tape recorders to access to the internet as well as though the establishment of a women’s community radio network.
As Virginia Woolf alluded to in “A Room of One’s Own” there is also a need to ensure that the necessary resources are mobilized so that women have the opportunity to write their stories, have their voices heard, and their identities represented particularly when it comes to the peace and security sector. FemLINKPACIFIC is therefore committed to not only work to mobilize resources to support our community media centre based activities, but to continue to mobilize resources for women in their communities as well in order to ensure in a very practical way women are supported to define and implement their peace and human security priorities.
FemLINKPACIFIC was founded by Sharon Bhagwan Rolls in the aftermath of the 2000 political crisis in Fiji, as a peaceful way of speaking out against what was happening in Fiji. FemLINKPACIFIC began with a small management collective, the blessings of a number of special Peacewomen and a founding Coordinator. The daily Peace Vigils during 2000, on behalf of the National Council of Women of Fiji at the Anglican Church in Suva, together with the signature Blue Ribbon worn by those who kept daily vigil, became symbolic of the call by women for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis. FemLINKPACIFIC became a women’s media initiative with the initial objective of giving women affected by the crisis a voice.
Since 2000 FemLINKPACIFIC has taken small but strategic steps towards the development, production and distribution of a range of media initiatives focusing on the advancement of women in Fiji and in the Pacific region.
In 2004 FemLINKPACIFIC launched its own mobile radio station focusing on women, as well as initiated and managed a rural and regional media network for women. This work entailed intensive advocacy using media initiatives to channel the voices of women to the policy level, from local to national to regional and at international foras.
The period 2005-2008 was one of growth and celebrations for FemLINKPACIFIC. It was now becoming a regional voice on peace and security issues and its partnerships extended to regional networks in Bougainville in PNG, Solomon Islands and Tonga through work under the “The Peace Talks” project. It was empowering communities with information through its production and distribution of media, videos, and publications.
FemLINKPACIFIC has made the journey this far through “project by project” funding and a lot of personal dedication from its founder and volunteers. At this juncture, FemLINKPACIFIC’s attention is on a critical need to secure the financial and human resources to continue its operations in a more sustainable and inclusive manner.
An organizational review was undertaken in June 2008 to assist the development of a new strategic plan for FemLINKPACIFIC and inform future directions and strategies for 2008 and beyond, and to highlight areas of the organization’s operation that need strengthening, document past successes, and identify future opportunities.
Our current Strategic Plan provides the future directions and strategies for 2010-2013.
We seek a Fiji committed to gender equality and women’s rights, where women are heard and fully participate in all development and decision making processes. FemLINKPACIFIC will be a local, national and regional catalyst for change in Fiji and the Pacific with particular emphasis on young women, women with disabilities, and women who are under-served through the use of appropriate media and information, communication and technology materials.
We exist to empower women, the disabled and the under-served communities in Fiji by creating an enabling environment for their voices to be heard. We are advocates of UNSCR 1325, community media and of women, peace and human security concerns. We promote change by:
• Developing appropriate media and communication materials • Advocating for policy changes that reflect women’s reality at all levels • Enhancing a community of practice and networks
VALUES To carry out its mission, FemLINKPACIFIC’s work will be guided by the following core values: • Feminist practices • Empowerment • Non-violence • Democratic practices Feminist practices Our work and contribution to development in Fiji will be based on feminist principles, practices and processes. These will include feminist principles of accountability, advocacy, consultation, diversity, equality and inclusion, joy and celebration, leadership, power sharing, safety and education and mentoring.
Empowerment We act consistently with FemLINKPACIFIC’s mission, and stand in solidarity with women, the disabled and the under-served communities, and support their efforts to take control of their own lives and fulfill their rights, responsibilities and aspirations. We ensure that key participants and organisations representing the under-served communities are partners in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of FemLINKPACIFIC’s programs. Non-violence We use non-violent means to promote justice and create the enabling environment for the under-served and the larger community. Democratic Practices We act to transform structures and processes that are barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peace and security. We use an inclusive and participatory approach to involving women at the community level. We will follow practices that promote democracy throughout FemLINKPACIFIC’s work and operations.
WAYS OF WORKING In pursuant of its mission, FemLINKPACIFIC will: • share technology with women • demystify meaningful feminist practices in the context of the Pacific • work in partnership with others on strategic priorities • promote community media as per Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action and a culture of peace • aim to transform power structures for the advancement of women