Fiji, 20 May 2019
“This is about feminist, diversity and inclusivity which is needed for inclusive development” says Adivasu Levu the Executive Director of Transcend Oceania – a member of the GPPAC Pacific network and Shifting the Power Coalition.
Adivasu is one of 150 diverse participants from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea including Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Micronesia, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Australia and Papua as well as feminist allies from other parts of world attending the 2nd Pacific Feminist Forum (PFF) which got underway at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour this morning.
This event builds on the pioneering inaugural PFF in 2016 where the Pacific Feminist Charter, a living document was adopted laying out a series of principles and the purpose of the 2nd PFF is to move the charter forward by building solidarity, building resistance and revolutionizing the way forward so that the smallest group in the Pacific island region can claim and use the charter in their daily work. The charter has been endorsed by close to 150 individual feminists and organisations.
This is truly an important, uplifting and inspiring opportunity and celebration of Pacific women’s contributions to every aspect of life – as students, workers, mothers, vendors and feminists said Fiji’s Minister for Women – Fiji, Honourable Mereseini Vuniwaqa in her opening remarks: “Our struggles and stories are interconnected”
“Feminism in the Pacific has grown from strength to strength” she said highlighting the complexities of cultures, identities and norms that continue to hinder women’s achievement of equality and rights in the region.
That is why, she said, Pacific feminists need to have collective spaces to influence regional and international dialogues, including inter-governmental processes for the region, said Minister Vuniwaqa
Collaboration is key so that a new wave of Pacific feminist can thrive, and drive the a Pacific-led agenda despite the geographical barriers within the region and across the globe:
“The power of collective efforts is remarkable” as she encouraged greater Pacific feminist collaboration and solidarity “
The region and the world would be a better place she said when there is gender equality which can drive development and change including economic development.