Pacific civil society organisations and social movements have long been asking, not just DIVA for Equality but across the feminist movement, for practice ways to bridge the divide within, and between Pacific island countries.

PacFemCOP, the Pacific Feminist Community of Practice, is our contribution to this work.

It’s not easy to build communities of practice online or offline but the current situation in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more essential for us to provide resources and share capacity across the vast Pacific Island region.

The 22 Pacific small island states and territories were some of the last countries to become independent.

Built into Pacific statehood is heavy regionalism that we all have to navigate, as well as the complexities of small island statehood, ANZ and Asia complications, and now as climate frontline societies. As south feminists, we navigate both our individual contexts in Fiji and the Pacific regional context. Many are also careful to differentiate themselves from the UN official category of Asia and Pacific. So in order for us to be able to do feminist work effectively, core collaborations have to be clear and strong from within the Pacific region, founded and facilitated within small island societies, States and territories. Autonomous organising has to mean autonomous in terms of the region, as much as it means organisationally and nationally.

DIVA for Equality is ten years old and has gained knowledge and practices over the years to share and we are at the point

where we can provide some of these resources, not just to groups in Fiji but across the region. So with the financial support of the Spotlight Initiative through UNWomen Pacific and One UN, we are doing this work. We began planning in June 2021, began rollout in September 2021 and the first stage will end in December 2022. There are 95 participants from 45 organisations and groups across 14 island States and territories, and many more who would have liked to join. We are also sharing the work publicly on this website, all the major resources from the programme are freely available for civil society in the Pacific, and providing insight for wider feminist groups across the world.

This is a community of practice where multiple forms of knowledge and practice are valued and shared

Secondly, while DIVA for Equality has our own praxis to share, we encourage COP processes to support others to also better share capacity. In this COP we break down the false divide between operations, logistics and content, because actually, what we know from lived understanding of ‘personal is political’ is that the structure, the content and the processes have to be aligned to have effective sustainable work. Capacity building is both about what emerges from within the community of practice and what DIVA brings to the community of practice as the facilitators and moderators.


This community of practice works in 3 ways

1. Active shared work and networking across the region so that members build ties that support them after the community of practice.
2. We build the feminist analytical strength within the region for more effective praxis they take away after the COP.
3. These 8 freeskool sessions that runs through the fifteen months and enable us to do feminist content work in a useful succinct way, and with flow.

They begin with three foundational freeskools. The first is an introduction to feminism and the work of DIVA for Equality in the region, the second introduces a linked framework of social, economic, ecological and climate justice, and the third freeskool is on ending all forms of violence against women and girls and sexual and gender based violence. Those three foundational freeskools are then followed by five further free schools, which are based both on the identified needs of the Community of Practice participants and those areas of feminist work they say are hardest to move in the Pacific. They include in this case feminist approaches to economics, social organizing and movement-building within the Pacific region, Feminist work for sexual and reproductive health and rights, SOGIESC and universal human rights, facing coloniality, imperialism and racism, and more.

Why the freeskools?

The freeskool sessions are intersectional and intergenerational and follow on a body of praxis from feminist social movements and moved through the work of DIVA for Equality. Concepts defined over time by the feminist social movements around the world can differ in their strength. There are often general agreements, and some divisions, depending on contexts. There are also old and emergent privileges in the movements, many of which go unchallenged. We want to be clear on what are some agreements and if they are contingent, and on the ways that feminist knowledge is and is not translating in grassroots work at individual, local, national, regional and global levels, including in the Pacific. We also want to be clear on the deepest parts of our work in DIVA for Equality that is the foundation for our work - that all are equal, have value and that our joint goal is liberation of all, on all territories.

If we clarify our values, then the ways that we then negotiate on feminist praxis and with wider social movements and in communities becomes easier

The movement can disrupt, clarify, critique and re-negotiate over time without destroying good, solid feminist social movement work, whether inside or outside and beyond national States, and societal norms and practices. Feminists believe in material and structural change to build socio-economic, ecological and climate justice, beyond that, we negotiate on how, why, with whom and when it happens. This Pacific feminist community of practice will support Pacific collective and individual work, for just, ethical, safe and inclusive realities and futures, for all.

The project Pacific Feminist Community of Practice (Pac Fem COP) started on 1 September 2021 and will last until December 2022. The project is funded by Spotlight Initiative’s Pacific Regional Programme, funded by the European Union, with the support of UNWomen and One UN.

Please acknowledge use of any PacFemCOP resources (and DIVA resources in general), as they are movement-developed and have taken considerable time and energy and political work.

Freeskool 1: Introduction to Feminism: Movement definitions and concepts for value clarification and agreement

Introduction to Feminism Part 1 video - Noelene Nabulivou

Introduction to Feminism Part 2 video - Noelene Nabulivou

Introduction to Feminism Part 3 video - Noelene Nabulivou

Poem - Old Walls by Camari Serau

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale

Freeskool 2: Feminist approaches to gender, ecological and climate justice

Feminist approaches Part 1 video - Noelene Nabulivou

Loss and damage Part 2 - Noelene Nabulivou

Why does this matter? Part 3 video - Noelene Nabulivou:

Poem - Mama Told Me by Camari Serau

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale

Freeskool 3: Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls & Sexual Gender based violence

Sexual & Gender based violence & systematic violence Part 1 video - Noelene Nabulivou

Part 2 video - UN Women

Poem - Ocean Dress by Camari Serau

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale

Freeskool 4: Building base: conscientisation, mobilizing, organisIng, action for change

Recap of the 66 th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) campaign - Noelene Nabulivou

Recapping our freeskool sessions- Noelene Nabulivou

Building Bases and social movement organising - Noelene Nabulivou

Poem - Ocean Dress by Camari Serau

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale:

Freeskool 5: Poverty to Power: Feminist approaches to economic justice and human rights in the Pacific and globally

Recapping our freeskool sessions - Noelene Nabulivou:

Poverty to power, feminist approaches to economic justice - Noelene Nabulivou:

Poverty to power, feminist approaches to economic justice - Noelene Nabulivou:

What do feminists propose? - Noelene Nabulivou:

Poem - TBC by Camari Serau: ‘From Poverty to Power’

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale:

Freeskool 6: Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights, SOGIESC, Bodily Autonomy & Integrity

Recapping our freeskool sessions - Noelene Nabulivou:

SRHR, SOGIESC & Bodily Autonomy & Integrity: Noelene Nabulivou Part 1

Poem - A girl writes a letter to her queer self by Camari Serau

Interpretation through Art by Alanieta Vakatale