Fifty women from around the country met in Suva today, during a groundbreaking women’s forum organized by women’s civil society organisations. The Women’s Forum is a national consultation to discuss the participation of women in national democratic processes, organized by FemLINKPACIFIC, the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, the National Council of Women and Soqosoqo Vakamarama.
Women’s full and meaningful engagement in all national processes is essential to human rights centred development, and to full and effective democratization.
Women are already participants and decision-makers in all areas of state and civil society, but their views are minimized, blocked or tokenized when formal processes regarding constitutionality and governance are nationally debated and decided.
The work carried out by diverse women’s organizations is essential in ensuring that women throughout the community are considered in national democratic processes.
The Fiji Consultation on Women’s Participation in National Democratic Processes (The Women’s Forum) is a first step towards ensuring that women are able to effectively assert their right to fully participate in the decisions that are being taken about their future.
During the second day of the three-day meeting, the participants had the chance to ask questions of a state panel, which consisted of Peniana Lalabalavu of the Strategic Framework for Change Coordinating Office, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum of the Ministry of Justice, and Govind Sami of the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare.
They also heard from experts in the meaningful inclusion of women in political processes, who discussed temporary special measures for women in leadership and communication strategies.
The Forum concludes tomorrow, after which the group will release a summary of their outcomes and plans for collaboration.
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