DIVA Poverty to Power Network launches Booklet on Gender, Poverty and Economic Justice in Fiji
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Suva, 06 February 2024 – In a groundbreaking publication, grassroots Fijian feminist activist authors from DIVA for Equality and the Poverty to Power network today launched a booklet on the challenges faced by women, girls, and gender-diverse people who experience poverty and economic injustice in FIji.
The booklet underscores the burden of unpaid care, domestic, and communal work disproportionately carried by women in all their diversity, and throughout their lifetimes. As with most States, Fiji yet fails to recognize or address this pervasive issue, leaving a majority of working-age women and particularly elderly women vulnerable to economic insecurity and poverty – what is termed feminisation of poverty.
There needs to be both everyday and systemic changes to our society and State, in order to end poverty in Fiji. Fijian feminist activists advocate for a paradigm shift, urging the State and society to adopt a comprehensive 5R or 6R framework to construct a fairer social provisioning system and care economy. This framework, as proposed by feminist economist Diane Elson, includes recognizing, reducing, redistributing, rewarding, and representing issues of women’s unpaid care, domestic, and communal work. DIVA for Equality adds a crucial 6th ‘R,’ emphasizing the need to explicitly and carefully reconfigure society and State to meet the needs of all, explicitly including women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals.There are many other strategies that will be proposed by Governments and social movements at the 68th Commission on the Status of Women, in New York from 11-22 March 2024.
The booklet unveils the harsh reality of gender discrimination from early life to old age, and of intergenerational poverty that has a profound impact on all aspects of life. The stories of 23 Fijian women and gender-diverse individuals show intergenerational experiences of oppression, discrimination, and violence. The publication highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive and linked societal and State response to address marginalisation, vulnerabilities and economic insecurities. It unveils the harsh reality of oppressive familial and community relationships that capture women, forcing them into endless work and lack of leisure and rest, while subjecting them to heightened poverty.
Fijian feminist activists emphasize the need for a profound societal transformation that requires clear, public, resourced work to transform gender unjust systems and end patriarchy. The socio-economic crisis in Fiji cannot be viewed through a gender-neutral lens; above everything it requires a dismantling of structural inequalities perpetuating gender-based violence and discrimination, and this is all our work. This publication serves as a clarion call to action to include women in decision making and use better analysis and action to end poverty and build social, economic, ecological and climate justice for all.
For media inquiries or interviews, please contact: Tamani Rarama
Communications & Special Projects Officer, DIVA for Equality