After 13 years of being at the helm of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM), Executive Director Virisila Buadromo is stepping down in November 2014.
Virisila has significantly contributed to the strengthening of FWRM’s role as a leading human rights non-governmental organisation in the Pacific and in the international arena.
“While we are sad to accept Virisila’s decision to step down, we have immense praise for her tireless commitment and tenacity in upholding FWRM’s core values, proven intellectual capability and excellent leadership in supporting the FWRM team implement the strategic vision of the Movement. Today, FWRM is a strong organisation that has a solid track record in speaking out on injustices and discrimination faced not only by women but also the wider community,” says FWRM Governance Board Chairperson, Daiana Buresova.
Virisila has played a pivotal part in movement building at both national and regional levels, as well as internationally. She was an instrumental figure in collaborating with key partners in supporting the Fiji Women’s Forum, which developed key strategies to support the participation of women in decision-making in the political sphere.
FWRM’s key achievements during Virisila’s tenure as FWRM Executive Director include:
– The establishment of the Emerging Young Leaders Forum, a programme that has been running for 10 years. In a decade, it has impacted the young participants through increased knowledge of their rights, increased confidence in negotiating for the lives they want and increased awareness of other women in their communities and the region working on women’s rights issues.
– The formation of strategic partnerships with key national constituencies. Notable amongst these was Virisila and the FWRM’s staff’s ability to bring together the diverse women’s NGOs in Fiji to dialogue on the gender implications of both the constitutional law making process and the electoral process.
– Institutional strengthening that has seen significant improvement in FWRM’s organisational and financial systems.
– Harnessing of FWRM’s research capacity with key studies undertaken on sexual harassment in the workplace and the economic impact of the political crisis on women.
– Participation in international and regional policy dialogue spaces that has enabled FWRM and the women of Fiji to engage in and discuss pertinent women’s rights issues like Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and contribute to the shaping of the post 2015 development agenda
Virisila is also the recipient of these awards-
- The first Head of a non-governmental organisation to be awarded the Westpac Women in Business- Executive Woman of the Year (2013-2014) Women in Business (Fiji) in March 2014;
- the Inaugural Courage Award (Women Have Wings) in January 2012;
- the International Women of Courage Award for 2008 (United States of America) in March 2008.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be working alongside committed and passionate women and men who believe that a just world is possible. The experience has been personally and professionally enriching. I believe that FWRM will continue to play a critical role in shaping Fiji’s political, social and economic future,” says Virisila.
Virisila’s post-FWRM plans include taking a long-deserved rest, before pursuing further studies and developing her career in the gender and development sector.
FWRM is a feminist non-governmental organisation that remains steadfast in its commitment to its core values of the rule of law, democracy, governance, and human rights as part of its work in advocating for legal and policy reform work to uphold women’s rights.