- Focus Areas
In November 2015, the Hon Steven Ciobo, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment (Minister for International Development and the Pacific, at the time) joined the Hon Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, to announce the establishment of the Fiji Women’s Fund.
Over the next seven years, the AUD10.5 million Fund aims to support local women’s groups and women-focused civil society organisations (CSOs) in their work towards gender equality. The Fund is an initiative under the Pacific Women Fiji Country Plan, through which the Australian Government is committing up to AUD26 million over 10 years towards increasing gender equality in Fiji.
Minister Ciobo said: “Through the Fiji Women’s Fund we aim to provide flexible support to a wide range of women’s groups in Fiji – both big and small, urban and rural, national and grassroots. This reflects our belief that empowering such groups means supporting local champions of change to make a difference in their own communities.”
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar thanked the Australian Government for its continued commitment and support towards women’s empowerment initiatives in Fiji.
“I would like to commend the Australian Government for committing up to $320 million over 10 years in the 14 Pacific Islands Forum member countries since 2012. The goal for the Fiji Women’s Fund will improve the playing field for gender equality and women’s rights. The gains from the fund will combine with the efforts by the Fijian Government in these two critical areas. Again, my Ministry expresses our gratitude to the ongoing support of DFAT to strengthen the implementation of the National Gender Policy. These partnerships have provided us with an enhanced capacity to work across government and into communities,” Minister Akbar said.
The Fiji Women’s Fund will provide grant funding, capacity development assistance and support for networking and cross-learning for women’s groups and women focused CSOs across Fiji, particularly targeting those in rural, remote and maritime areas that do not often have opportunities to access support. The Fiji Women’s Fund will support groups that aim to increase women’s economic empowerment, end violence against women and increase women’s role in decision-making and leadership.
At the time of the launch, DFAT had commissioned a three member design team who met with various women’s groups, women’s CSOs and relevant stakeholders to design the Fiji Women’s Fund. DFAT is currently finalising the design and aims to establish the Fund by June 2016.
Article prepared with assistance from DFAT, Fiji Post.