Caption: Roshika Deo. PHOTO:SUPPLIED.
The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement congratulates aspiring politician Roshika Deo on being one of the recipients of the 2014 International Women of Courage Award.
Roshika, a former staff member of the Movement, was one of the 10 women from around the world, honoured for their“exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
The United State’s Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom presented the awards at a ceremony on Tuesday March 4th at the State Department in Washington, along with First Lady Michelle Obama.
“FWRM notes with great pride that one of the reasons Roshika was honoured is because she is “one of the very firstcandidates in the country to announce her intention to stand in Fiji’s 2014elections, the first since the 2006 military coup.” Her intention stated so early on shows intrepid action and bravery deserving of such an award,” said Executive Director, Virisila Buadromo
After graduating from FWRM’s Emerging Leaders’ Forum (ELF) the year before, Roshika joined the Movement in 2008 as a Research Officer. Prior to her resignation last year, Roshika led the Movement’s Gender and Transitional Justice programme.
FWRM’s policy requires a standing down period once it is clear that a staff member intends to stand in an election, in order to avoid the perception of political bias. FWRM supports increasing the numbers of women in the legislature regardless of political party affiliation.
Other Pacific feminists who have also been honoured with this award include FWRM’s Executive Director Virisila Buadromo; Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre’s Coordinator Shamima Ali and Vanuatu Crisis Centre’s Coodinator Merilyn Tahi.