Engaging with Local Government an Opportunity to Define Development

CAPTION: Sharon Bhagwan Rolls. File Photo.

14 March 2013. Nadi, Fiji Islands. Regular interactive dialogue organised by FemLINKPACIFIC with the Nadi Town Council since 2009 has enabled local women leaders to inform and communicate their development priorities to local government officers whether it is
about drainage and infrastructure, health and hygiene, disability access or disaster risk management.

The dialogue sessions are also an opportunity for women living within and beyond the town boundary to also simply receiving updates on town council plans. It is all part of a process of advocating for gender responsive local government programmes and policies says FemLINKPACIFIC’s Executive Director, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls: “Produced as community radio programmes, the latest interactive dialogue with the representative of the Special Administrator for Nadi (today) heard that the requests for the provision of baby-friendly rooms, a user-pay toilet facility in the market and planned improvements to the Nadi bus station as well as improvements in the market facilities have been taken on board and while the progress of the plans have been affected by successive floods and cyclones it is good to know that the recommendations by the women leaders are being noted, especially as these women leaders are not represented in development planning committee meetings.”

The interactive dialogue today with Meli Koroitamana who is the Manager -Building and Planning of the Nadi Town Council enabled Neelum Jyotika, of the Nadi Disability Network to explain the specific requirements for persons with visual impairment in addition to the provision of wheelchair access.

The dialogue session welcomed the opportunity for members of FemLINKPACIFIC’s “1325” network in Nadi to contribute regular
recommendations to the Special Administrator (SA) and also participate in meetings the SA and his town council team host with Turaga-ni-koros as well as other government departments.

The dialogue session was held ahead of tomorrow’s “Not Just Sweet Talk: Here are the Women” simulcast in Nadi, supported by the European Union and International Women’s Development Agency which will enable 24 women and young women to bring to a community radio and television audience the views and perspectives of close to 2500 women from across Nadi who belong to the
clubs in village, settlements and rural communities!


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