8 Jul 2008

Fiji NGOs call for inclusion of women's participation in political forum

9:10 pm on 8 July 2008

Two Fiji women's organisations have written to the Commonwealth Secretariat Special Envoy to Fiji to call for the final terms of reference for a proposed Fiji political forum to be inclusive of women's participation.

A letter drafted on behalf of The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) and the Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) was delivered to Sir Paul Reeves last Thursday.

The proposed political forum which will be facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations is expected to be convened next month.

FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali says that to be effective, the proposed forum must be truly inclusive of all members

of society and must reflect a gender balance.

The FWRM Executive Director, Virisila Buadromo says that because Fiji is in the process of transitioning from a conflict

situation to Parliamentary democracy it is all the more essential that women are actively involved in peace negotiations and in post conflict reconstruction.

She says history shows that participation of women enhances the effectiveness of conflict prevention and post-conflict rebuilding.

No response has been forthcoming from Sir Paul.