Feminism Must not be Exclusionary – a message at the start of the 2nd Pacific Feminist Forum

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Posted May 19, 2019 from Fiji

We need to do better to uplift the diversities of women across our region:

“We are stronger as a movement, when we uplift one another collectively” said Tongan Transactivist, Joelene Brown Mataele in her keynote address at the opening of the 2nd Pacific Feminist Forum, saying there is no #feminism without trans rights. She called on participants to acknowledge and welcome women and girls in all their diversity:

“The Pacific Feminist Charter defines our identity and our principles and it is a reminder that we need to collectively reflect on our movement, our environment and context to remain relevant as well as ensuring we remain aligned to our charter, but honouring and valuing each other”

Solidarity is vital to persist in shaping the resistance and defining the revolution for change:

“We’ve seen the global tide of violence and exclusionary practice against transwomen and this is happening here in our region” – it would be remiss of me not to address this “We know the poverty of transwomen across the Pacific. We know there are trans-hate crimes and murders, we know trans-health care is non-existence, employment is lowest, there is no trans-support service provided by any governments and there are still criminal laws”

It was vital for the movement to be aware of exclusionary feminism and therefore ensure alignment with the Pacific Feminist Charter that will ensure accountability.

The uncomfortable Talanoa must take place in these spaces in line with the theme of the Pacific Feminist Forum said Mataele:

“We cannot practice the patriarchy that we fight in our daily lives. This is about the protection of all our (women’s human rights) defenders”


Comments 2

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Jill Langhus
May 20
May 20

Hi Sharon,

Wow! This is great, too. What a great role model for the trans community there.

May 20
May 20

Thanks for sharing dear.

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