Fiji: Women speak out against discrimination

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) was established in 1986 and since then has been at the forefront of the women’s movement in the Fiji. They are:

  • committed to removing discrimination against women and believe that change can happen if the law treats women and men equally

  • fighting for legal reforms and a change in attitude towards women and women’s rights within their community and society as a whole

  • using research, legal advice, advocacy training and literacy programs to raise awareness of women’s rights amongst both women and men in Fiji

Oxfam has a long-standing relationship with the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement which began with our support for their Women’s Employment and Economic Rights project in 1993.

In 2003, the group achieved a significant victory with the Fiji Parliament unanimously passing the Family Law Bill – the culmination of 13 years work by the Fiji Women's Rights Movement. The Bill recognises women's non-financial contribution to a marriage, allowing domestic housewives to claim a share in the matrimonial property should divorce occur. It also ensures that during child custody proceedings, the right of the child to be raised in an environment that will help in her/his development is essential.

Young Women in Leadership

Oxfam is currently working with the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement on the Young Women in Leadership Project.

This project focuses on young women between the ages of 14 and 25, and aims to train each of them to be able to inform and influence their peers on issues such as reproductive rights and building self-confidence, as well as how to deal with discrimination.

The group will also help encourage other young women to speak out. The aim is to build confidence and self-belief among women so they might have more of a voice and be encouraged to enter into positions of influence and leadership, whether in their schools, communities, churches, youth groups and political groups.