femLink Pacific convenes 2019 National Rural Women Leader’s Community Media Network (RWLCMN)

Minister for Women, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa opening the 2019 National Rural Women Leader’s Community Media Network (RWLCMN) PC: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation

“The amplification of women’s voices and in particular, marginalised women is critical for the fulfillment of our development agenda. We all know that women bring a different perspective to the table but what good would that perspective be if there were no mechanisms to hear about it.”

The Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa opened the femLINKpacific 2019 National Convening of the Rural Women Leaders Community Media Network (RWLCMN) on 30 September in Suva.

The Minister also commended the efforts of the event sponsor, the Fiji Women’s Fund in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the networks, platforms and spaces. She added that the Ministry stands in support of its invaluable work and recognises the importance of elevating the visibility of rural women’s leadership.

The three-day event titled “Protection, Prevention and Participation. Advancing greater positive impact on behaviour, practices and attitudes” was attended by 49 women including members of the LGBTI community and seven participants of the Peoples with Disabilities (PWDs).

The event provides an annual safe space for RWLCMN members to discuss, share and document their lived experiences especially in the areas of domestic violence, women peace and security, decision-making, gender perspectives in humanitarian response and the needs of rural women.

An interesting component of the workshop was the journal holders’ presentations.  In this session, participants read out some of the entries that they had made/documented in journals provided by femLink.  Some of the women had used their journals to collect data on issues relevant to their districts.  Notably, some of their entries have been used to support government interventions such as access to clean drinking water in Malamala community.

A grant from the Fund has assisted femLink to expand its reach and impact of its rural women’s initiatives like the RWLCMN and the suitcase radio.