- About Us
A civil society feasibility analysis recommended the establishment a women’s fund in the Pacific. Led by a three-member team, the design of the Fiji Women’s Fund was undertaken.
After receiving overwhelming responses from feminist sisters, civil society allies in Fiji and women’s funds, the Australian Government pledged AUD 10.5 million to help bring us to life.
We became the Pacific’s first feminist national fund – you can call us pioneers!
To help steer and guide our journey, we sought the strength, mana and knowledge of women from civil society, private sector, government and the women’s movement. They became part of our Steering and Grants Committees!
We took a consultative process to lead to our branding and our logo. Our logo was inspired by a universal symbol that signifies women and femininity. The downward pointing triangle is one of the most ancient symbols of female divinity. It is the symbol of water (as it flows downward), and the womb.
We were so excited to provide our first 18 grants just six months after opening our doors. We supported initiatives that focused on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Ending Violence Against Women, Women’s Leadership and Decision Making and Women’s Coalition for Change.
People began to hear of our existence and we participated in two key events, the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women which coincided with the 6th Meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Women held in Suva and the Prospera X Biennial held in Sri Lanka. It is in these two meetings that we began to dream and think of ways to progress our independence as a women’s fund.
While on our pioneering journey, we have always taken the time to reflect, unpack and unlearn, and many times this meant changing and adapting our ways of working. We developed many of our key governance policies and put in place a special measure in our granting process to ensure that we reach marginalised groups and women in rural and remote areas.
By our 2nd birthday, we supported nine new grantees and continued to support four existing grantees from 2017. We increased the diversity of our grantees and for the first-time supported organisations working with women in sports, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are proud to say that our grants impacted the lives of 7,800 Fijians.
We made a commitment to allocate 10% of our annual grant funding to organisations supporting people with disabilities. We partnered with the Paciﬁc Disability Forum and the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation to guide our work on this.
We became an Associate Member of Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds, the peak global body of women’s funds. This broadened our horizons, we got to connect, learn and foster new relationships with 38 other women’s funds in the Asia Pacific region.
We believe in providing platforms and spaces for our grantees to grow and develop their capacity. Through the expertise of many feminists, we provided 31 capacity development training sessions to our grantees. We also partnered with Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development on our first annual reflections workshop where our grantees were invited to share their experiences with other gender equality practitioners in Fiji.
Through our third grant call, we provided 12 new grants that impacted the lives of 8160 Fijians, the majority being from rural areas. Our grantees made many important essential services available in rural areas for the first time such as sexual reproduction and health rights.
Along with seven women’s fund’s members of the Asia and the Pacific chapter of Prospera – International Network of Women’s Funds, we hosted the first Asia and Pacific Regional Convergence. It brought together grantee-partners, regional allies, and funders to talk about resources, power, and the processes through which they are negotiated. Around 150 women, girls and trans* activists from 20 countries, speaking eight different languages converged in Bangkok to examine the multifaceted reality of feminist funding in Asia and the Pacific region. We were proud to have contributed to the development of the Feminist Funds Manifesto.
We partnered with the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, Asia & Pacific (UAF A&P) to commission the Where is the money for women and girls in the Pacific - a scoping study about the funding realities for women’s organisations in the region. Over 40 organisations were interviewed seeking insights on the funding of women’s organisations in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and more broadly across the Pacific.
Along with UAF A&P, we began to navigate the journey of bringing to life, a regional women’s fund - the Pacific Feminist Fund. We were able to secure funding and are so privileged to be on the Advisory Group and Steering Committee working on it’s establishment.
We commissioned an independent Mid Term Review. The review found that we are relevant in the national and global context of building and supporting women’s movements and empowering women’s organisations.
We believe that our grantees have a lot of knowledge and lived experiences about what works best for gender equality work in Fiji. We are collaborating with them to document and share these learnings and best practices through our research papers. On International Rural Women’s Day we released Promising practices from Fiji in empowering women economically.
We are so excited to begin our journey to become an independent women’s fund, we developed our Mobilisation Strategy and began reaching out for support and diversification of our resources.
We became a full member of Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds. And became a Co-Coordinator of the Prospera Asia & Pacific Chapter.
A terrible virus (COVID-19) broke free around the globe and this caused nations to shut down. We went into lockdown and witnessed an immediate increase gender-based violence. Following that, Fiji experienced two cyclones that left many families in dire need of support. We mobilised financial resources to help 9 of our grantees with recovery efforts – this was the first time that we adapted our funding to respond to a crisis.
Building on our learnings from this crisis and our Mid Term Review, we implemented a new grants mechanism and introduced three grants called Sustainability, Movement Building and Resilience Grants. We hope to become agile and more responsive to the needs of our grantees.
We also disbursed 9 new grants that impacted the lives of over 18600 individuals across Fiji.
We released our second research paper titled Promising practices in preventing and ending violence against women and girls in Fiji. The paper featured four of our grantee partners and this was launched during a panel discussion within the Fiji Annual Reflections event.
We took our biggest step towards becoming an independent fund, we registered as a Charitable Trust and have a new Board of Trustees and Governance Board. We have developed our first strategic plan to guide our work from 2022 to 2024.
As of August, we are now Women’s Fund Fiji – the Pacific’s first national women’s fund managed and run by the women’s and feminist movement in Fiji.