Supporting Human Rights & Social Participation of Women in Remote Communities in Fiji
This European Union funded project worked to support human rights and social participation for women in 31 rural and remote communities in Fiji. The overall objective of the project was to empower and mobilize women, to build broad based public demand for democracy and human rights through:
- Testing and modelling new ways of mobilising women in remote areas
- Strengthen the capacity of women in communities to educate and advocate for human rights and democracy
- Provide opportunities for South-to- South exchange of human rights and democracy experience
- Extending models of mobilisation to other areas of Fiji
The project conducted participatory research with communities to document their understanding and perceptions were of the following questions:
- What do ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ mean?
- What role can women play in strengthening ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ in a community?
- What would be the threats or challenges of involving women in advocating for democracy and human rights activities in communities?
- How would women like to be supported in building their own con dence to speak out on issues of human rights?
- What type of education resources, tools and approaches would help women advocate for improved human rights?
- How do women perceive the role of education and learning in addressing human rights abuse?
- Who should be involved in such education?
The participatory research identified the need to strengthen rural communities’ understanding of human rights, democracy and to develop leadership skills in women, so the project activities strengthened women’s groups and women’s forums. Tools, approaches, information, resources, training and advocacy techniques were strengthened, and peer education and learning strengthened.
Live & Learn also published the “Our Rights, Our Voice, Our Future” resource for community facilitators, leaders and potential leaders, and to encourage the participation of women as leaders and decision makers. The resource helps community leaders to discuss human rights, democracy and leadership in their communities through:
- Creating awareness and encourage discussion on human rights
- Strengthening women’s skills to encourage participation in community decision-making
- Building women’s self-confidence and self-esteem so they have confidence to express their opinions
- Strengthening leadership skills of women