The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement is deeply saddened by the death of former colleague, close friend and long-time ally Losana McGowan.
Known for her exuberant personality and zest for life, Losana was loved by all that knew her, especially within the media and civil society circles. Closely associated with the Movement for many years, Losana volunteered in various capacities, and was involved with the organisation’s Young Women’s Working Group and volunteer communications team.
“Losana was vivacious, bright and full of energy, and you always knew she was in the office because of her contagious laugh! Her strong sense of ethics and experience in media and social justice work carried over into everything she did,” said FWRM Executive Director, Tara Chetty.
“The outpouring of tributes to Losana is a testament to the kind of person that she was – well-loved, widely liked, a strong and true friend to many.”
Losana’s death, reportedly during an assault by her partner, also highlights the widespread issue of gender-based violence in Fiji. Losana was one of the 64% of women in Fiji who have experienced physical violence at the hands of their intimate partner – which is more than double the world average. Statistically, we know that on the day Losana died, 43 other women were injured; one was permanently disabled and 71 lost consciousness due to intimate partner violence. (All statistics from research published by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, 2013, Somebody’s Life. Everybody’s Business!)
“Losana was a member of our close community and her death shows how intimate partner violence reaches everywhere, no matter where you come from or what field you work in,” said Chetty.
“In remembering her bright spirit, we also recommit to fighting gender-based violence in all its forms.”