Freeskools & Feminist training and development

All of the work of DIVA for Equality is based on rich, feminist knowledge-generation and sharing

DIVA for Equality has longstanding, deep networks across Fiji and the Pacific, working widely in urban poor, rural and maritime areas of Fiji, across all four divisions and 13 of the 15 Provinces of Fiji, and with women-led networks and groups across 14 of the 22 Pacific small island states and territories over 10 years. The organisation has active networks and direct contact with grassroots women representatives in almost every area of Fiji, except Rotuma and Rabi to date. Our analysis and action comes from this constituency base.

Nationally, our networks are growing rapidly as more grassroots activists and women-led groups join the eight

DIVA BTQ+ Hubs that were established in 2012, Women Defend Commons Network since 2014, Qaqa Fiji Young Grassroots Women’s Network in 2019, and our other networks and affiliate groups including feminist, youth-led, faith-based, i Taukei and Fiji Indian women-led local groups, market vendor associations, informal settlement and village groups, women with disability led groups, HIV positive and SRHR focused groups, LGBTQI activists and groups, environmental, climate change activists and more.

Notably, our eight LBTQ+ hubs are active and influential as people with non-heteronormative SOGIESC Fijians

are earlier afraid to come out publicly as themselves in many places and this is changing over time nationally as DIVA for Equality and other LGBTQI+ led and feminist groups create a safer, wider, deeper movement for change. As they become more active, so too do their ideas, tactics and strategies for progressive change and for feminist liberation.

We have seen a corresponding increase in local groups organising as our LGBTQI+ led Hubs grow and have accompanied many activists and groups

over the past decade here and in Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, Vanuatu, West Papua and beyond. We are proud that DIVA LBTQ+ Hubs and Women Defend Commons organising groups have spread beyond the city centres where most CSO networks lie (and we use variants of above and below-ground organising for constituent safety). These Hubs function as localised networks of mutual aid, solidarity, accompaniment and support in all times of human rights violations and stigma, socio-economic and ecological need of climate change, COVID19 and more.
We are also particularly pleased to have worked over the past 7 years in strong partnership with Na I Soqosoqo Vakamarama I Taukei who are the oldest, largest Indigenous women’s network in Fiji, with groups in almost all 1,193 villages in Fiji.

We are also a member of the Fiji NGO Coalition on Human Rights and have extensive regional networks including work with Youngsolwara

PANG, PICAN (Gender Working Group Chair), DAWN, Shifting the Power Coalition and the new Pacific Islands Feminist Climate Change Alliance, and many other coalitions and networks. We were on the founding regional organising committees for the first two Pacific Feminist Forums in 2016 and 2019, and convened the first catalytic feminist movement meeting in 2014 called Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD), which is still an informal, supportive networking engagement with women working in climate justice in Government and civil society spaces, and out of which have grown new sets of regional organising. We are also now convenors in 2021-22 of the Pacific Feminist Community of Practice (PacFemCOP) with 8 regional Freeskools and advocacy praxis engagements convened for 95 COP members from Fiji, West Papua, Timor Leste, Vanuatu, Palau, Samoa, Niue, Tonga, Solomon Islands, RMI and more.

We are also integrating women’s leadership and gender responsive input into national climate change policies with multiple processes

from 2015 including input into development of the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan and integration into Fiji Low Emissions Development Strategy, Fiji National Adaptation Plan, Fiji National Climate Change Policy, Fiji NDC Implementation Roadmap, connecting to the UNFCCC Lima Extended Work Programme on Gender, and more. We are also active in spaces related to sustainable development/SDGs including UNESCAP APFSD, and others. DIVA for Equality Executive Director Noelene Nabulivou was also in 2022 a Co-Chair of the CSW66 Expert Group on Gender, Climate Change and Disaster Risk and Response leading to the UN Secretary General’s report that guided the CSW66 Agreed Outcomes negotiations.

We are facilitating four wellknown regional feminist, human rights and development justice framed CSO networks that have advanced a number of areas for Pacific women

Pacific Feminist Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Coalition,
Pacific Partnerships on Gender,
Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD) into the SIDS S.A.M.O.A PATHWAY/Conference,
Pacific Feminist CSW Informal Network and Pacific Feminist Community of Practice.

In these roles we collaborate and engage daily with numerous Pacific islanders and Pacific CSOs and have moved

regional research, advocacy, training and development, capacity-sharing, broad-based advocacy and influence campaigns with national, regional and global focus . We actively engage in shared work and accompany Youngsolwara, Alliance for Future Generations, 350Pacific, SEED Indigenous Youth Network and many other Pacific youth-led groups and have a close global partnership with Resurj network where we have convened international gatherings for young and emergent feminist activists in the surrounds of UN Commissions on the Status of Women, through FemComs we have co-designed and hosted for the past 4 years.

We are strongly affiliated and actively engage in global feminist and progressive social movements through the

Pacific Feminist Forum, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, PANG, DAWN, WEDO, WECF, WECAN, IWHC, the Women’s Major Group on Sustainable development at the UN, Women and Gender Constituency to the UNFCCC, Feminist Alliance for Rights, Global Gender and Trade Coalition with Regions Refocus, AWID, Equidad Generos, and many others. We are engaged in ways to bring greater collective power to local-global feminist activist-led autonomous social movements.

As of 2020 through to 2025, DIVA for Equality is now a global Co-lead of the Gender Equality Forum (GEF) Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice which entails engagement with Government, UN agencies and other institutions as well as with civil society groups.

There are many further sets of feminist knowledge-sharing and transfer work on which we work, and our services, advocacy, action and movement-building arise from this ‘thinking about thinking’ and pedagogies of equity, liberation and justice. Onward.

We are working on 8 key areas for the coming 5 years, 4 global and 4 regional:

i) We want to ensure human rights and gender justice, loss and damage and the 1.5 trajectory are uppermost in our demands.
ii) We want to support and help fund Pacific SIDS autonomous organising on climate justice;
iii) We will collaborate more with South-south organising groups;
iv) and ensure increased direct channels of finance for gender-just climate solutions focusing on grassroots, local and indigenous women and girls in the Majority South and South in the North.

v) We want to bring together climate and biodiversity protection work to stop the extinction of over 200 species per day.
vi) We are investing in knowledge hubs and digital platforms focusing on grassroots and indigenous women and girls.
vii) Leveraging, strengthening and scaling up the ability of women and girls to achieve resource independence and influence climate and environment policy planning at all levels
viii) and increasing financial and technical support for data production on gender-environment nexus and for their use for informing gender-responsive policies, strategies and advocacy actions, focusing on all regions.