When 24 women leaders aged between 20 and 68 years appear in FemLINKPACIFIC’ s Not Just Sweet Talk: Here are the Women simulcast this Friday in Nadi, they will bringing 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!
Meeting together in a pre broadcast consultation as members of FemLINKPACIFIC’ s “1325” community media network in Nadi, the women come collective at the local level as a members of a range of village and settlement clubs, networks and groups including the National Council of Women (NCWF) and the Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei (SSV). In 2012 FemLINKPACIFIC, SSV and NCWF together with the Fiji Women’s Forum formed the Fiji Women’s Forum effectively mobilized to deliver over 125 rights based civic education campaigns and programs in communities around Fiji enabling the participation of women in all our diversities, particularly rural women and other minority groups in the Constitutional Consultation process.
As a result of the Women’s Forum’s civic education activities, over 650 individual and group submissions were made, which included submissions advocating for a strengthened Bill of Rights that includes the full range of civic, political, economic, social and cultural rights and for increased women’s participation in decision making roles in particular through Temporary Special Measures.
Losana Derenalagi, President of Nawaka Women’s Club said that she received civic education from the Fiji Women’s Forum Workshop and she trained more than 300 women in the Nadi community alone. She said that there was a need for more civic education and the need for Temporary Special measures (TSM) to ensure equal participation of women in political structures. She added that the Constitution should comply with the Convention on the Elimination of Violence against Women (CEDAW).
Supported by the European Union and the International Women’s Development Agency this broadcast means the women will be speaking to an audience beyond the 10 kilometre transmission radius of the “suitcase radio station” as FemTALK 89FM links up to Mai TV for what will be the 1st simulcast for 2013. In 2012, FemLINKPACIFIC hosted 5 simulcasts from local community radio broadcasts including a first for Labasa.
Ahead of the broadcast, the women have been in discussion to not only reaffirm the collective call for equality in decision making, but to also be able to relate through their own stories why they feel women can make a difference by being present in the range of decision making structures including disaster risk management committees.
For 31 year old Neelum Jyotika from the Nadi Disability Network women with disabilities need to be supported to represent themselves in political structures including Parliament and local government.
Having women in national and local government will also ensure compliance with CEDAW in the budget making process and ensure allocation for women’s health and security priorities including allocation for better health facilities and more police posts and ensuring protection for women and girls.