Women Defend Commons
DIVA developed, supported and facilitated the emergent Women Defend Commons (WDC) network of climate and ecological justice activists since 2018, and the roots are further back to the catalytic work of Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (2014 onward). The WDC focuses on grassrooted led activism through accompaniment, action and reflection cycles, experiential knowledge and skills, careful communication, tactics and strategy, and strength in numbers. WDC brings the combined knowledge and skills of over 3000 women, femme, and gender non-binary climate activists from urban poor, rural and maritime. Pacific climate frontline communities, and accomplices inside and outside States and development institutions.
WDC brings the combined knowledge and skills of over 3000 women, femme and gender non-binary climate activists from urban poor, rural and maritime Pacific climate frontline communities, and accomplices inside and outside States and development institutions. Women Defend Commons activists mobilise and organise on all aspects of gender, climate and ecological justice. As well as national, regional and global advocacy, members daily support each other with mutual aid including strategic connections with government and others for urgent needs, disaster preparedness and response, psycho-social care, learning circles, SRHR supplies and services, menstrual health campaigns, women builders constructing and repairing houses, unconditional cash transfers, food aid, WASH, development of local technology, referrals to feminist crisis centres to address violence and discrimination, advocacy work on legislation and policies, and much more.
As part of DIVA’s efforts to empower partners to drive their own agendas, we have organised three National Conventions to date of the Fiji Women Defend Commons Network, and numerous smaller constituency meetings at local, provincial and divisional levels. We convene annual constituency meetings of the Women Defend Commons network, which now has members in over 600 locations.
The Women Defending Commons collective action arises from two complementary sets of Pacific small island feminist-led work since 2013 – through the Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development #PPGCCSD and also grassroots-led activism of #WomenDefendCommons circles local activist hubs, Conventions, meetings and campaign moments in Fiji, Urgent Action Hub for Climate Justice (online with over 3000 members).
We have grown regional and global connections through to #PICAN, Women and Gender Constituency to the UNFCCC #WGC, Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development #WMG, #WECAN, #Resurj, #RegionsRefocus and more.
We are diverse, intersectional and intergenerational, growing stronger every day, and we insist on local women-led action as core to climate justice, connected by social movements.
We do not accept externally led solutions. Work in your own backyard, as there is certainly work there too. Reverse your gaze if you are a development or climate change worker from the economic north. Primarily now target your own government and corporations. Stop the fossil fuel. Stop the illegal and illicit financial flows, stop the military industrial complex at your ends too.
Stop the elites from commodifying the earth and stop Adani, as we recently told an Ambassador from Australia to the Pacific at a regional climate change meeting. That is how you can best help Pacific people.
We can do our part in climate leadership. Change what you are doing at home and in extraterritorial capitalist activities. Stop now. We are all fighting for survival.
Join us. Defend all people, defend the planet.