Campaign & Events

2020-2019 RPF STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING 

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July, 5 The Rainbow Pride Foundation today convened its 2 days Strategy Planning in Suva, Fiji.

The strategy planning has gathered its Board Members, Chapter Coordinators, Secretariat Staffs and Volunteers from around the country for this intensive 3-year strategy planning.

The two days of strategic planning will seek the following outcomes:

1, Enhance their understanding of the context (social-political-economic) in which RPF works in,

2. Identify and define what RPF’s goal is and what success for the organization looks like

3. Develop a theory of change for RPF, outlining the outcomes, and how success will be measured

4. Development of a list of priority areas that RPF will focus on for the period of the strategic plan. factoring in capability, funding, resourcing and feasibility.

The strategy planning supported by SPC RRRT is being facilitated by Co-Lab consultants and will end tomorrow.

 


 

Catholic Synod newsletter: RPF Engagement 

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July, 1 The Rainbow Pride Foundation wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the Archdiocese of Suva for inviting us to be part of their synod. Pictured above is an extract from the Catholic Synod newsletter where RPF & its partner HK is especially acknowledged for their inputs into the synod process.

From the very first synod meeting at St Joseph Secondary School where RPF was the lone representative of the LGBTQI community to our call to other LGBTQI organisations to join us at a joint consultation of LGBTQI organisations to compile and consolidate our inputs into the synod under the 7 pillars, before attending the final synod consultation at Novotel in Lami in June.

We pray that our quest to build bridges with the faith-based community in Fiji will grow stronger as we nurture this relationship and work with the churches to deinstitutionalize homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and help reduce & eliminate discrimination & violence against LGBTQI people. Forward and upwards.

 


 

RPF STRATEGY PLAN (2020 – 2023) INCEPTION MEETING 

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22nd June, RPF senior management met with Co-LAB consultants at the Inception meeting on Friday 21/06 to discuss and finalize the scope and methodology for the development of our first proper strategic plan 2020-2023. We aim to complete this process by August and launch the Strategic Plan soon after. Stay tuned for updates.

 


 

Fiji’s VNR Report 2019

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May 30, 2019, The CSO SDG Forum on Fiji’s VNR Report 2019 commenced this morning Thursday, 30 May 2019 at Novotel Function Centre, Lami, Republic of Fiji. The forum concludes tomorrow Friday, 31 May 2019.

The forum was opened Ms. @Charmina Titilua Theresa Saili, Regional Planning Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Who praised this historic event and the thanked those in the room for being part of this process. In terms of the regions she stated that “Empowerment, inclusivity and equality are key pillars of our Pacific regional policy making and the focus of the Pacific Roadmap for Sustainable Development”.

Organised by the Fiji CSO Voluntary Review Taskforce made up of NGOs such as the Rainbow Pride Foundation 4 LGBTQ Rights and Equality in Fiji, Fiji Council Of Social Services (FCOSS)Fiji Women’s Rights MovementFiji Disabled Peoples FederationCitizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF)Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF)Save the Children FijiAdventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) FijiHaus of Khameleon, , Pacific Centre for PeacebuildingHabitat for Humanity Fiji and the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs, the two day forum is expected to organise discussions around the theme; “Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.

More then 60 community volunteers, private sector organisations, trade union and non governmental organisations, civil society representatives from all divisions of gathered to assess and report on their contributions across the 17 goals since 2015.

This Forum is the culmination of efforts that begun in 2018 by Fiji’s CSOs to participate and contribute to Fiji’s VNR Report of its Progress towards the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals to the UN High-Level Political Forum that is scheduled this July 2019 in New York.

The forum will for the first time provide an opportunity for a CSO’s, private sector and trade unions to;

a. Convene discussions around sustainable development programmes and activities conducted in Fiji since 2015

b. Conduct a stocktake on the progress of their work in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals

c. Strengthen rapport intra and inter sectorally for synergies and policy coherence on sustainable development through partnerships

In this process, the Forum will help the Fiji CSO VNR Taskforce to collate a CSO Submission/Report for the 2019 Voluntary National Review of Fiji’s progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.

It is envisaged that Forum will also begin to lay a platform to better coordination and collaboration between CSO actors working towards the achievements of SDGS in Fiji.

This historic Forum was made possible with support from development partners for the CSO Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Forum on Fiji’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report 2019 is indicative of the value placed on civil society contributions to Fiji’s sustainable development.


 

2nd Pacific Feminist Forum: TRANS-forming Lives for a Better & Stronger Pacific. 

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May 21, 2019, Rainbow Pride Foundation 4 LGBTQ Rights and Equality in Fiji & Haus of Khameleon co-organized side event “TRANS-forming Lives for a Better & Stronger Pacific” at the 2nd Pacific Feminist Forum – PFF.

“Being Inclusive is being #Revolutionary“, Tamani Rarama RPF

LGBTI rights advocates and women’s rights advocates are stronger together, but sometimes our issues are pitted against one another. The session aimed at creating an understanding of one another’s specific needs, unpacking what solidarity, sisterhood, allies and movement building means for the Pacific women rights and the feminist movement. Our movements are stronger when we work collaboratively across women’s rights and LGBTIQ issues.

#IntersectionalFeminism is key in achieving gender equality in the Pacific” Sulique Waqa.

Panellist speakers include representatives from DIVA for Equality FIJIFiji Women’s Rights Movement & Haus of Khameleon

This event was supported by OXFAM in Fiji.

 


 

2019 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia March & Park Rally 

Theme:  Justice and Protection for LGBTQI People in Fiji 

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May 17, 2019, The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) falls on the 17th of May every year and is a day that is set aside to commemorate and coordinate events that raise awareness on LGBTQI Rights and the violations associated. This year, 132 countries across the globe will be taking part. Fiji, through the Rainbow Fiji Coalition Secretariat which is co-led by the Rainbow Pride Foundation and the Haus of Khameleon, is spearheading and coordinating most of the activities that are planned to commemorate the IDAHOTB in Suva this year.

“Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have a right to equal access to opportunities and services and their safety should be protected. This year’s theme on “Justice and Protection for All” is timely given that the Fiji LGBTQI community is still reeling from the horrendous killings of two young members of our community in 2017 and 2018, with the former case still pending investigation and the more recent one in the court of law awaiting natural justice to be served. Many members of our community are still unable to access justice due to fear of being “outed”, victimized, mistreated, harassed, or denied service outright. And it is imperative that justice be served without delay” said Isikeli Vulavou (Rainbow Pride Foundation)

Over the past decades, protection of LGBTQI people and all people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions and sex characteristics, has greatly expanded. This progress is worth celebrating, and therefore May 17th is foremost, a day for celebration as well as a day to make the key call for actions on relevant stakeholders.

“In Fiji, it is quite clear that the 2013 Constitution prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression. It is imperative that the state and all other actors fully recognizes this aspect. And given Fiji’s recent appointment as Vice Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the state has a responsibility to also uphold, respect, promote and protect human rights for everyone in Fiji.,” said Ms Miki Wali (Haus of Khameleon)

A Pride March and Park Rally is being organized in Suva to commemorate this year’s IDAHOTB celebration. Other events include the launch of DIVA for Equality’s “Unjust, Unequal, Unstoppable” Report. These events are also to ensure that there is a spotlight on our celebrations and on the multiple and intersecting forms of injustice and inequalities.
No one should be treated unfairly or subjected to any form of harm and abuse because of who they are or who they love. Everyday LGBTQI activists in Fiji are holding the line not just to defend our agency and autonomy, but our freedoms and rights. And it is essential that LGBTQI Human Rights defenders are equally protected in Fiji.

Fiji has been commended for having sexual orientation as a status protected from discrimination as far back as the 1997 Constitution and the inclusion of Gender Identity under the 2013 Constitution. A lot remains to be done to promote a culture of equality, respect, inclusiveness and diversity encompassing all Fijians and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQI+ people in Fiji and around the world.

The justice system has a role in ensuring that all forms of discrimination that are targeted at members of the LGBTQI community are brought to justice and this also includes improving legal recognition, providing redress for past wrongs, protecting LGBTIQ people from harm and promoting equality and respect for LGBTIQ people.

Ends.

 


Press Conference: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia: Justice & Protection for All

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May 16, 2019, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer community will be commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia tomorrow with a march through Suva and other activities at Ratu Sukuna Park.

Rainbow Proud Fiji President and Founder, Isikeli Vulavou says that this will be an important day as it will also be the first time that LGBTQI Movement has been able to secure a permit for a march through Suva City.

Vulavou adds that everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to equal access to opportunities and services and their safety should be protected and this celebration’s theme ‘Justice and Protection for All” is a timely one for the LGBTQI Community in Fiji.

Management Chair of the Haus of Khameleon, Sulique Waqa also highlighted that over the past decade, protection of the LBGTQI people and all people with diverse sexual orientations have greatly expanded adding that this progress is worth celebrating tomorrow.

Waqa also says it is a day for celebration as well as a day to make the key call for actions on relevant stakeholders.

Waqa adds that a lot remains to be done to promote a culture of equality, respect, inclusiveness and diversity encompassing all Fijians and they stand in solidarity with LGBTQI people in Fiji and around the world.

Miki Wali from the Haus of Khameleon says they did not want to talk about same-sex marriage.

The Pride March will begin at 8.30am tomorrow from the Suva Flea Market to Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva.


 

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) Training in Suva, Fiji

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May 10 2019  Rainbow Pride Foundation Community Engagement Liaison Officer Ms. Ilisapeci Raileqe Delaibatiki was fortunate to have been one of the 32 participants that attended the first Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) fundamental training in Suva, Fiji on Friday 10 May 2019.

The training was facilitated by Mr Nashrudin Modin the Regional Technical Cash Advisor from Save Children Australia (SCA) and it serves as an entry point for practitioners to build their knowledge on this tool with resources from the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP).

This one-day training was an introductory session to key concepts, definitions and myths relating to cash and voucher assistance in humanitarian settings.

 


 

52nd Asia Development Bank Annual Meeting 

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May 5 2019 The Rainbow Pride Foundation was privileged to be invited by the Asia Foundation with the recommendation of our sisters from the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement to be part of the panel at the ‘Learning Event: Gender-Based Violence and the rise in climate-related disasters; Applying CSOs insights to multilateral investments in Asia and the Pacific (The Asia Foundation)’ where the Founding Director and President of the RPF Board, Mx Isikeli Vulavou shared insights on the rights and needs of Fijian sexual and gender minorities and their experience of violence and harassment in the context of natural disaster as per the findings from the Down by the River research, which was commissioned/funded by Oxfam Pacific/Oxfam Australia and implemented by the RPF and Edge Effect.

Questions were posed to the ADB representative on how the ADB plans to include LGBTQI issues in their policies and programmes/projects. The response was that the ADB was currently in the process of exploring and mapping knowledge and work by multilateral funding agencies on LGBTQI and hopefully would have a more concrete policy on inclusion of sexual and gender minorities in their organisation and projects once that process is completed.

The panel was moderated by Ms Nandita from the Asia Foundation in India and panellists included the femLink Pacific Executive Director Ms Susan Grey, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Ms Nalini Singh, Ms Sonomi Tabaka ADB Chief of Gender Equity and Mx Isikeli Vulavou.

 


 

Pacific Resilience Meeting 

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May 4 2019 RPF Young people and members of our secretariat are currently attending the Pacific Resilience Meeting in Suva, Fiji. The meeting brings together over 400 participants, to take stock of the implementation of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and also highlight how communities and countries in the region are strengthening resilience in an era of escalating disaster and climate risks.

Earlier on Monday, young people from the Pacific Region convened for a Pre- Youth session themed, “Youth Futures in a Resilient Pacific”. The meeting showcased, shared inspiring examples of youth action and resilience in communities and sectors; working inclusively to save and improve lives and protect livelihoods.

The Pre- Youth Forum has come out with an outcome document that including calls around better Regional Youth coordination and mechanism and many more.
#PRM19#ResilientPacific


 

Catholic Church (Fiji) SYNOD LGBTQI Consultation

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April 29, 2019, Rainbow Pride Foundation convened an LGBTQI Consultation with networks and individuals yesterday. The convening was to assist the organization in developing a consolidated and collective voice and recommendation towards the CATHOLIC SYNOD process which will culminate in the finalization of the Suva (consist of all parishes from around Fiji) Archdiocese Roadmap 2020-2025 in the coming months.

 


 

Press Release: Fiji’s PM Anti-Gay Remarks labelled as Divisive

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April 4, 2019, The recent comments by the Fiji’s PM Bainimarama on Anti-Gay Marriage is harmful, divisive and irresponsible of a leader. These rhetorics yet again put further harm and can perpetuate targeted violence against the LGBTQI+ people on various platforms and levels including bullying, online trolling and taunting.

It is even saddening that Bainimarama based this statement from a questionable social media platform parading to be a news page claiming that a particular church denomination in Fiji supports same-sex marriage without trying to validate these claims first. Perhaps he could learn more about the real priorities of the LGBTIQ+ communities in Fiji if he makes time to meet and have a talanoa session with them rather than having these sort of knee-jerk reactions and making remarks that could do more damage than good for an already marginalised community.

“Also, as Fiji progresses in Human Rights leadership at the international level with its recent appointment as Vice Chair of the UN Human Rights Council, our leaders should be more responsible and accountable on the comments they make particularly in regards to human rights as whatever they say will reflect Fiji’s stand on human rights internationally.”

Mr. Vulavou, RPFs Founding Director and President, said LGBTQI+ people continued to face increased stigma, discrimination, and violence such as hate crimes. We still have unsolved brutal murders of two members of our community who were alleged victims of extreme hate and homophobia and transphobia in 2017 and 2018 and these sort of remarks further marginalise and aggravate the situation for members of our community.”

The Rainbow Pride Foundation through its programmes is currently working with gatekeepers like policymakers, traditional leaders and Faith Based Organizations to sensitize them on SOGIESC, while also tackling various other social issues such as HIV/AIDS, Health & Wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusion.

Mr. Vulavou said that RPF is keen to have a talanoa session with the PM and other government Leaders & Parliamentarian Members on SOGIESC & LGBTIQA+ issues to shed light on real pressing issues needing urgent attention and action like ending the social stigma, violence and systemic discrimination that LGBTQI Fijians face almost on a daily basis despite having legal protections in the 2013 constitution.

 


 

International Trans Visibility Day 

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March 31, 2019, Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a day to show your support for the trans community like every other day!

Every March 31st, it aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people everywhere while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading an understanding of trans people.

Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day to be empowered and give the recognition trans folks deserve! Visibility is not about being seen as an individual: it’s working together to transform society.

 


 

Pacific  CSO’s Convening development of Intersectional Advocacy Strategies organized by the Equality & Justice Alliance (EJA)

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March 28, 2019, Rainbow Pride Foundation was part of the  Pacific Convening with Civil Society Organisations towards the development of Intersectional Advocacy Strategies organized by the Equality & Justice Alliance (EJA) from the 27th-29th of March in Nadi, Fiji.

The EJA will work on 3 overlapping objectives:

1. Strengthen civil society to influence and advocate for legal reform
2. Build a cadre of high-level ‘Equality Champions’ to support legal reform
3. Provide technical legal assistance to governments for legal reform

This regional convening of civil society representatives aims to bring together diverse civil society organizations working on women’s rights and the rights of LGBT+ people to come together to deliberate, discuss and build consensus around intersections affecting both groups; to strengthen civil society capacity to engage in legislative and policy reform processes; and to carve out common advocacy strategies for legal and policy reform.

Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji & Kiribati LGBTQI+ representatives are all part of this strategy meeting including a representative from the Commonwealth Youth.

The convening ends with a presentation of joint intersectional advocacy activities and consensus, Identifying risks and mitigation strategies and assumptions.

Haus of KhameleonFiji Women’s Rights MovementVPride FoundationKaleidoscope Trust

 


 

Asia Pacific Youth Forum on Sustainable Development 

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March 20, 2019, Tamani Rarama of Rainbow Pride Foundation representing Fiji was amongst 70 young leaders that gathered last week for the 2019 Asia Pacific (Youth) Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD Youth) in Bangkok, Thailand from the 21st – 23rd of March

The 2019 theme of the Youth APFSD was “Empowering Young People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality”. Our support officer Tamani was a panelist for the opening panel and made interventions around the theme of the convening. Using an intersectionality lens, Tamani drew their interventions on the need for urgent action on climate justice, increase youth capacity building & meaningful participation in all levels of engagements along with the need for age relevant comprehensive sexuality education in our Pacific/Fiji curriculum.

Furthermore, interventions made also highlighted the key role of young people in decision-process at Local, Sub-regional, Regional and International Level. Tamani echoed that the “Sustainable Development Goals is for our generation, hence it is of vital interest that young people are part of development, implementation, & monitoring processes”.

Tamani also shared over the three days on the great work that young people are championing in the Pacific region and also enlightened the room on the progress and challenges around issues on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights, LGBTIQ, Climate Justice & Education.

The APFSD Youth Forum on its final day consolidated a Call for Action entailing recommendations around Youth, Inequalities, Education, Climate Action and Partnership in line with the 2030 Agenda: Leaving No One Behind. These recommendations will be utilized in key processes in the region and this includes the Asia Pacific People’s Forum on Sustainable Development which kicked started yesterday.

The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) Youth LEAD Y-Peer Youth Voices Count FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund

 


Rainbow Pride Foundation Participates at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women

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Rainbow Pride Foundation Project Support Officers Ms. Lasarusa Seru and Ms. Amasai Jeke are currently attending the 63rd session on the UN Commission on the Status of Women “(63rd CSW) in New York from the 11th – 22nd of March. This year’s CSW theme is “Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls“.

As an organization that advocates for the protection of LGBTIQ+ in Fiji and the Pacific, the theme acutely aligns with the recommendations from our key findings in the study “Down by the River: Addressing the Rights, Needs, and Strengths of Fijian Sexual and Gender Minorities in Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Response”. The report calls on the need for inclusive social protection systems, accessible public services, and sustainable infrastructure in order to fulfill the highest quality of living for our members. RPF has continuously lobbied for such diverse inclusion at various levels of engagements and spaces.

Access to quality housing and infrastructure is among the many issues shared in the research on the experiences of our gender diverse members. They have stated that their homes can be an unsafe place if families become aware of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Part of the current work that RPF is undertaking is ensuring that communicating with communities and other public information services are inclusive of sexual and gender minorities. The aim of RPF is to sensitize stakeholders, communities including religious bodies on issues regarding people with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and other Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC).

Ms. Seru who is attending the 63rd CSW for the first time said that it’s been a great experience to be in New York with seas of women’s rights activists and world leaders from around the globe that share the same work and vision on the promotion and protection of women’s rights.

“…the 63rd CSW is a critical space to lobby women’s rights issues and in recognising the voices of diverse women particularly those from the global economic south. This will influence decision making processes and outcomes at the International level”, Ms. Jeke, our human rights support officer shared while speaking at a side event session titled “Advocacy in Practice.

Our RPF representatives will have an informal meeting with the UN Fiji Permanent Representative, Dr. Satyendra Prasad at the Fiji Mission Office in New York later today. This meeting will allow CSO’s representative to lobby various agenda which includes pushing for Fiji’s vote on the Independent SOGI Expert.

Various other engagements with other country missions are also scheduled including participation is side events.

UN Women PacificPacific Islands Forum SecretariatDIVA for Equality FIJI

 


 

 

Rainbow Pride Foundation secretariat members today participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Writing Training organized by the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) Office.

The training focused on building the technical capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who are engaged in developing the UPR Shadow Report in the lead up to Fiji’s UPR Review later in November this year.

The training is supported through the Pacific Commonwealth Equality Project (PCEP) under the Secretariat Pacific Community (SPC).

 


 

Building Bridges Engagement: Archdiocese of Suva Synod 2018-2019

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RPF continues to build the bridge with the faith based organisations by accepting an invitation from the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji, His Grace Peter Chong to be part of the Archdiocese of Suva Synod 2018-2019 that was held at the St Joseph Secondary School’s hall on Saturday 09 February 2019.

Our two representatives who are also part of the Catholic church, Mr Simione Tuni (one of our company Directors) and RPF Project Support Officer Ms Amasai Jeke were able to make interventions during the discussions on gender in particular and share their personal experiences and lived realities within and outside the church to enlighten the church about the need to be TRULY INCLUSIVE and AFFIRMING of the diverse sexual and gender identities that exist in our society today and reflect their needs and aspirations in the church’s plans.

We are deeply grateful to the Catholic church and especially His Grace for affording us the opportunity and we look forward to more support from them for our Building the Bridges project and to also rejoining them for the Diocesan Synod to be held from June 7-9, 2019.

In you we trust!


Gender & Shelter Training Workshop: Habitat for Humanity

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Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) acting Community Liaison Coordinator Ms Ilisapeci Raileqe and acting Western Chapter Coordinator Ms Mate Moce were among the 25 participants that participated in a Gender & Shelter Training Workshop organized by Habitat for Humanity at Holiday Inn from the 28th January to the 1st of February.

The objectives of the training focused on the importance of integrating gender equity in emergency preparedness, emergency planned process & recovery response. Participants of the training identified gender protection dimensions of emergency, shelter options & also identified specific challenges due to the additional factors of vulnerability and risk. The mechanisms of integrating gender during distribution, communication, participation, accountability and reporting process during emergency or disasters was also highlighted and raised during the training.

The training afforded the RPF an opportunity to shed light on their definition of Gender using a SOGIESC lens and exploring with other shelter providers the shelter solutions that would ensure that the rights and lives of LGBTQI people are protected. The RPF participants also used this opportunity to enlighten the participants on some of the key findings from the Down by th River research report which included some key findings related to shelter issues that LGBTQI members faced post TC Winston. This activity fits in well with the current efforts made by the RPF in ensuring LGBTQI/SOGIESC inclusion in DRR.

Furthermore, the feedbacks and recommendations during the week will be utilized to guide the development of a gender responsive shelter handbook.

The training was organised and co-facilitated by the Shelter team at Habitat for Humanity and Gender Specialist from CARE.

 


 

LGBTIQ Inclusion in DRR: National Disaster Management Act and Plan

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On the afternoon of Wednesday 30 January the National Disaster Management Act (and Plan) Technical Review team led by the NDMO National Disaster Management Office met with the Rainbow Pride Foundation to provide an overview of the Act and the processes involved and at the same time solicit RPFs inputs into the Plan. This is part of RPFs wider efforts in lobbying for LGBTQI inclusion in DRR. We will also reach out to you our LGBTQI community members to solicit your views and inputs in the National Disaster Management Act and Plan to ensure that we, LGBTQI people are not left behind.


 

Post-Pacific Human Rights Conference 2018 Follow-up Consultation

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On Wednesday 30 January 2019, the Rainbow Pride Foundation attended the post-Pacific Human Rights Conference 2018 follow-up consultations organised by the PSGDN Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network to reflect on the objectives, achievements and challenges and also share how each individuals and organisations have integrated the recommendations from the Outcomes Document in their current and future work.

It was obvious that most if not all of the work that the Rainbow Pride Foundation and other organizations were doing had strong linkages with the outcomes. The meeting also brought together many like-minded organizations that are working towards promotion and protection of human rights of LGBTQI people in Fiji and the idea of reviving the Rainbow Fiji Coalition was mooted and all organizations present were generally supportive of the idea. There is hope that this idea will be pursued and discussed further to strengthen the collaborations and solidarity among the LGBTQI organizations operating in Fiji.

The consultation was supported by the Fiji Women’s Fund and SPC

 


 

Shifting Power Shifting Voices: Women Economic Empowerment 

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Rainbow Pride Foundation is delighted to be part of an intensive planning and training session in Suva this week for a new flagship women economic empowerment programme – Shifting Power Shifting Voices organised by our partner organization OXFAM in Fiji.

The partnership formed a coalition two years ago with a common goal to work towards the socio-economic development of women and LGBTIQ communities in rural and remote locations. The coalition also includes Ecrea Fiji and Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation.

In this workshop, supported by Oxfam Australia, the coalition partners have reaffirmed their commitment to work together to research and create programs that would benefit vulnerable communities.

The workshop also includes training led by Oxfam Australia’s Gender Adviser Anila Aftab Schroers on Oxfam’s Rapid Care Analysis tool which would help our Shifting Power Shifting Voices partners to have more effective conversations in their communities on inclusion and socio-economic programming.

“NGO’s are very important partners as they are working directly with communities so by working together we can do more to effectively progress socio-economic development in Fiji,” says Oxfam in Fiji’s Tupou Vere.

 


Fiji’s UN Permanent Representative Office Visit (18/01)

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RPF Staffs joined the Regional Rights & Resource Team of the Pacific Community (SPC), to meet with Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan. 

Ambassador Khan, who is Fiji’s Permanent Representative to Geneva, has just been recently appointed as the Vice President of the Human Rights Council. 

The staff shared a few light moments with Ambasador Khan, before she departed.


ADVOCACY WEEK: OUTRIGHT ACTION INTERNATIONAL (New York, USA)

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Rainbow Pride Foundation Project Assistant and young trans-feminist Ms. Amasai Jeke attended a two (2) weeks Advocacy Week and Out Summit alongside fifty (50) fellow LGBTQI activist from around the world from Friday, 30 November to Friday, 07 December 2018 at New York City, NY, USA.

The advocacy week included advocacy training and strategy development, visits and meetings with UN Diplomatic Missions/Representatives and networking amongst the activist participants; sharing knowledge and lived experiences together with success stories and way forward relating to their work on the promotion and protection of LGBTQI rights.

Ms. Jeke shared that her engagement in this space was critical as the advocacy week was about building solidarity and ally-ship between the Global North and the Global South activists and at the same time giving space for each participant to strengthen their positions and discussion on critical issues affecting the global LGBTQI movement.

According to Ms. Jeke, the experience have empowered her to grow and develop her capacity, personally and professionally as a Pacific Trans Feminist/Activist and she looked forward to utilizing and sharing this knowledge and learnings with her community(ies) in Fiji and the Pacific. Ms. Jeke also shared that the visits to the UN Missions were very welcoming as she used the opportunity to lobby for more humanitarian related response and in-country partnerships. She also put forth the key recommendations from the RPF groundbreaking study “Down by the River” in this space of engagement; as she comes from a region that is experiencing first hand the brunt of Climate Change.

Ms. Amasai also echoed that she was very fortunate and thankful to be part of the training and in meeting activists from all over the world, who continued to resist and transform the world, in multiple ways, in different trenches.

OutRight Action International is an international civil society organization that seeks to advance human rights and opportunities for LGBTIQ people around the world by developing critical partnerships at global, regional, and national levels to build capacity, document violations, advocate for inclusion and equality, and hold leaders accountable for protecting the rights of all LGBTIQ people.


WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY MARCH: SUVA, FIJI (10th Dec)

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Rainbow Pride Foundation today marched in solidarity with other Human Rights Defenders and Human Rights NGO’s to commemorate the World Human Rights Day and the closing of the 16 Days of Activism.

The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.

The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.


RPF Partners with the Teachers Union in Fiji to promote inclusive education (3rd-4th Dec)

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The Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) partnered with the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) to facilitate the Capacity Building Workshop on “Teachers Unions for Inclusion: Embracing diversity and promoting safe schools” which was held from 3rd to 4th December, 2018 at the Southern Cross Hotel in Suva.

The objectives of the 2-day Workshop were to:
– To increase awareness on LGBTI issues, especially policies and existing legislation in the national context
– To develop mechanisms to review existing education methods and education-related materials to promote inclusive education
– To discuss the role of education stakeholders including teachers and their unions to uphold and protect the human rights of all learners with focus on SOGIE.
– To develop national action plan to eliminate discrimination in the education sector on the basis of SOGIE.

RPF Executive Director Mr Isikeli Vulavou said RPF is focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. 
According to Mr Vulavou, RPF’s goal is for every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

He said the organisation believes that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

“The right to education is a basic human right. All children and young people have the right to access quality education and the right to respect within the learning environment. However, all over the world young people are missing out on education due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression,” he said.

“In many instances’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) leaners suffer exclusion, harassment and discrimination including bullying from other students and even school staff. In the same way as discrimination based on race, sex, color, disability or religion is unacceptable, so is discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression,” Mr Vulavou said.

Thirty participants attended the Workshop. This was represented by the Fijian Teachers Union (FTA), Fiji Teachers Union (FTU), the USP Staff Association and Education International Asia-Pacific Region (EIAP). The workshop concluded with an action drawn up by all three union for implementation in 2019.

Mr Vulavou expressed his appreciation to UNESCO, Education International, COPE and Teachers Unions in Fiji for supporting such Workshop.

 


LGBTQI community should be treated equally: Health Minister (01/12)

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Picture: Fiji Times

MEMBERS of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities in Fiji should be treated equally like any normal human being when accessing medical treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or AIDs, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

He made the statement after LGBTQI community members raised their concerns with him yesterday, claiming that they have been subjected to discrimination while trying to access medical services at various health facilities in the country.

Dr Waqainabete said members of the LGBTQI should no longer fear under his administration.

“I can also feel the hurt when they shared their story this morning, for members of the LGBTQI they should be treated equally like any normal human being when trying to access medical treatment or screening for AIDs or sexual transmitted diseases,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“I’ve advised them if they ever find any problems, it is important that they contact me directly and I will take it from there, as the minister for health and medical services, I will make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Reigning Adi Senikau Queen Niko Naituku said they welcomed the news relayed to them by Dr Waqainabete.

“Now that he has offered to assist us and the most important thing is for us that action is genuinely taken because we are discriminated against every day,” Naituku said.


 

Click here for the Breakfast Show Interview

 


#TEST4KFJ NATIONAL ROADSHOW (26th-30th Nov)

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The Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) joined the FJN+ [Fiji Network of People Living with HIV (PLHIV)] who organized a week long Roadshow which entailed community/village outreaches around mainland Viti Levu from the 26th-30th November, 2018. The Ministry of Health & Medical Services Lautoka Hub was also on site to take HIV tests. This was the first time ever the Rainbow Pride Foundation have openly conducted SOGIESC sessions at the village/ community level.

The roadshow outreaches promoted testing and the importance of people knowing their status. The team also used this opportunity to promote the #Test4kFJ campaign. The villagers were sensitised on a number of issues ranging from HIV/AIDS, Safe Sex Practices, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity/Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) and other interlinked issues to sexual & bodily autonomy and health & rights and mental health.

The roadshow team visited Matacula village in Tailevu province, Barotu village in Ra province, Nailaga village in Ba province, Korovuto village in Nadi district and Namada village in Nadroga province.

Ilisapeci Delaibatiki, the RPF Western Chapter Coordinator who was part of the group, shared that the total number of people reached was 256 and out of this 126 got tested who were mainly young people. She also shared the community was so eager to learn more about the issues discussed.

Most participants at these community sessions, stated that “they weren’t aware of issues around LGBTIQ+ and that they valued the work being done by such organizations to create a free & equal society”. A lot of the villagers emphasized the importance of acceptance for all people and moreover expressed concern on how stigma and discrimination further alienated people living with HIV or those with diverse sexual and gender identities/expressions.

The outreach team came straight from Namada village to Suva to join the World AIDS Day march & celebration at Sukuna Park on Saturday 1st of December.

The #Test4kFJ campaign intends to test 4000 young people for HIV by July 2019; allowing them to know their HIV status. The RPF was privileged to have the current Adi Senikau and RPFs Central Chapter Coordinator Ms Nicco Naituku participated in this roadshow along with the 2015 Adi Senikau & member of Lautoka RPF cluster, Ms Aqu Brown and Christopher Lutukivuya, our MSM/PLHIV rep on the RPF Board of Directors.

The Rainbow Pride Foundation is indeed grateful to our partners the FJN+ for affording us the opportunity to accompany them on this roadshow as well as to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for your continuous support, technically & financially!

 


Commonwealth Pacific Regional Youth Leaders Workshop 2018 (27/11)

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Commonwealth Pacific Regional Youth Leaders Workshop 2018 kick-started yesterday in Nadi, Fiji. Over 40 youth leaders from across the Pacific countries are here to participate in the workshop; which aims to strengthen regional Youth participation mechanisms, equip and enhance capabilities of youth leaders in the Pacific region.

Project Officer – Lavetanalagi Seru is attending this workshop from the Rainbow Pride Foundation.


SOGIESC/LGBTIQ COMMUNITY OUTREACH: TAVAKUBU, LAUTOKA (22nd Dec)

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On Thursday 22nd Nov the Rainbow Pride Foundation was invited again by our Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) partner, Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO) to facilitate a sensitization workshop on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression & Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) @ one of their workshops with church leaders in Tavakubu, Lautoka. The workshop was mainly attended by senior clergy men and women from the Fiji Methodist Church’s “wasewase o Lautoka.”

Rainbow Pride Foundation Project Assistant Ms Amasai Jeke & Western Chapter Coordinator Ms Ilisapeci Delaibatiki facilitated the session and shared that it was such a poignant and emotional experience for them as they grew up in the methodist church but left after they felt that it was no longer a safe space for them (being subjected to stigma and discrimination), but the overwhelming outpouring of support and show of love they experienced yesterday within that same space was refreshing and reassuring. One of the participants stated “…because they are a part of our family and village and play an important part in our lives. They are also human beings like everyone else.”

According to Ms Raileqe it was welcoming to see a few familiar faces and family members present as it boosted her confidence and she hoped that what they shared will create an impact in that faith-based community.

Other CAN DO partners that facilitated sessions included the National Fire Authority, Save the Children & FNCDP who also discussed their work on disaster response.

CANDO is a collective of religious bodies & organization that are unified in working towards DRR & humanitarian response. This is the third opportunity for the RPF to work with CAN DO to deliver a session on SOGIESC101. The previous opportunities were @ Korovisilou in the province of Serua in August and the recent one in October at Yaroi village in Savusavu.

 


      ‘Force is with you’ (21/11)

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Picture: Jovesa Naisua (Fiji Times)

THE Acting Commissioner of Police (ACP), Rusiate Tudravu, has reiterated the force’s support towards the safety and security of the LGBTQI+ community in the country.

ACP Tudravu said the force would take every effort in carrying out its responsibilities if reports were lodged at any police station by the LGBTQI+ community members.

“I have also heard some reports of complaints that have been raised about the attitude of police officers,” ACP Tudravu said.

“This is something which we would like to manage. I see from my side is that a change in the mind-set and this can be improved through awareness and training.

“On this note, the Police Commissioner has already stated that the force will be liaising closely with them and then start some awareness programs and trainings as to how to treat the LGBTQI+ groups.

As much as we would like to attend to their grievances and concerns, we also have to be mindful that there are other citizens who also need to be protected. But this matter will be taken seriously.” ACP Tudravu reassured the LGBTQI+ community that police would look into their complaints and grievances seriously.

 

 

 


Police will now look at all reports lodged about discrimination and ill‑treatment towards LGBTIQ Community (21/11)

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Police will now look at all the reports that have been lodged about discrimination and ill‑treatment towards the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Community at various police stations.

Acting Police Commissioner ACP Rusiate Tudravu highlighted this after concerns were raised at the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the level of discrimination and hatred towards transgender people in Fiji particularly the two recent murder cases of the late Iosefo Magnus and the 23yr old USP student, Akuila Salavuki who was found dead along the Suva foreshore on the 17th of May this year.

He says that most of the transgender people are coming out with information with regards to what they face out there.

Tudravu says that police will then relate to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Community as to what transpired with their investigations.

He says that it is good that the LGBTQI community is raising these issues.

Tudravu says that police will also be reviewing all other cases that were raised by the LGBTQI community.

Meanwhile, it has been more then a year now Iosefo Qionitoga Magnus was found brutally murdered at the Vesida shortcut off Caubati and police confirmed that they are yet to make any arrests.

A group of people gathered at the murder scene on the 21st of September to remember the late Magnus.

In the case of Akuila Salavuki, who was found dead along the Suva foreshore, 20‑year‑old Saula Temo has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in this case.

Temo is alleged to have murdered Salavuki on the 17th of May this year.

It is also alleged that Temo hit Salavuki on the head with a piece of timber that caused Salavuki’s death.

He has been remanded in custody and the case has been adjourned to next Tuesday.


        Increase in killings of transgender people (21/11)

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Picture: Jovesa Naisua (Fiji Times)

THE number of murders involving members of the transgender community has increased globally, claims the executive director of the Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN) and Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF), Isikeli Vulavou.

Speaking during the celebrations held to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Suva yesterday, Mr Vulavou said the trans murder monitoring data for the Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018 update had revealed a total of 368 cases of reported killings of trans and gender diverse people between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

“This constituted an increase of 43 cases compared with last year’s update and 73 cases compared with the 2016 update,” Mr Vulavou said.

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.”

He said the day served to raise public awareness of hate crimes against the transgender community as well as to publicly mourn and honour the lives of community members who might otherwise be forgotten.

“It also helps to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face,” he said.

He said the day also honoured the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.


        PLEA TO END TRANSPHOBIA (21/11)

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Picture: Jovesa Naisua (Fiji Times)

THERE is still a lot of ignorance and discrimination against the transgender community in Fiji and the Pacific and this leads to their marginalisation and invisibility in society.

This was the sentiment of the executive director of the Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN) and Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF), Isikeli Vulavou, while speaking at the Transgender Day of Remembrance event in Suva yesterday.

Mr Vulavou claimed that transsexual people experienced substantial discrimination at work, faced healthcare issues and were subjected to poor legislation at national level.

“Gender nonconformity is still used as an excuse for harassment, violence and even murder of transgender people,” Mr Vulavou said.

“A considerable number of transgender people live in poverty and a large number report suicidal ideation.”

He said PSGND, RPF and its allies had done a lot of work to advance the rights of transgender (LGBTQI+) people in Fiji and the Pacific.

“Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done and we are only beginning to properly address the issues and work towards solutions,” he said.

He welcomed the fact that more institutions embraced the issue and took practical steps towards elimination of discrimination and prejudice of transgender people in the country and the Pacific.


70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS; SUNRISE INITIATIVE 

16th Nov

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Secretariat Members of the Rainbow Pride Foundation were today present at the kickstart of a series of Global Events to mark the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Sunrise Initiative organized by the UN office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and it’s partners.

The early morning event which was officiated by the President of the Republic of Fiji, H.E Major General Jioji Konrote emphasized on the critical aspect of respecting and upholding Human Rights in Fiji and the Pacific, especially with challenges such as Climate Change fronting our doors and to which our community are directly impacted and are living the harsh realities.

Our programme officer, Lagi Seru who also spoke at the event on behalf of the young people and as the Alliance for Future Generations representative, shared issues that LGBTIQ people faced during disasters based from our recent study “Down by the River”, and further shared on how often our gender diverse community face violations of human rights pre to post disaster and humanitarian crisis because of their perceived or actual gender diversity.

The celebration was filled with performances from Oceania Centre & Theatre and also shared messages and spoken word acts from several other Pacific Human Rights activists.

A week long event is planned for the celebration in the following weeks as we look forward to the 16 Days of Activism leading up to the World Human Rights Day on the 10th of December.

Ends –

 


          MEETING WITH PARTNER : OXFAM AUSTRALIA 

          15th Nov

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The Rainbow Pride Foundation today had the greatest pleasure of hosting a meeting with our OXFAM Australia partner representative Ms. Sem Mabuwa at the SPC Conference room in Nabua.

The meeting greatly acknowledged the various successes that the partnership between Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) together with their National Office, OXFAM Fiji. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Rainbow Secretariat to provide insight on other matters including addressing some of the gaps & barriers that the organization is working upon in their programs/projects.

Our Executive Director, Mr Isikeli Vulavou along with the members of the secretariat further shared on the work that they are undertaking in their different roles with a particular emphasis towards Disaster Risk Reduction & Humanitarian Response. They further shared on the many partnership and engagements that has been fostered by the organization with other Humanitarian bodies and groups including Faith Based Organizations (FBO) in its effort to address and lobby for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and other Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) inclusion in the humanitarian response.

OXFAM Australia representative Ms. Mabuwa shared on way forwards for the partnership and greatly concluded that OXFAM greatly values the partnership it has with RPF and echoed that each milestone must be celebrated.

Also present at the meeting was Ms. Tupou Vere our focal point representative at the OXFAM Fiji Office.


Safe Campaign targets STI advocacy at Hibiscus

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THE newly-launched Hibiscus Festival ‘Safe Campaign’ by the Rainbow Pride Foundation is aimed at reducing the rising prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancy among young people in Fiji.

Foundation executive director Isikeli Vulavou said the target beneficiaries of this campaign were young people between the ages of 16 and 39 years, with a particular focus on young key affected populations.

Mr Vulavou said they projected to reach out to at least 1000 people through the campaign.

“Our Safe Campaign is also focusing on drugs and substance abuse and mental health which have been identified as a contributing factor and a root cause for the increase in rates of STIs and teenage pregnancy.”

More on this story in today’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our E-Edition.


 

Fiji hosts first Pride Parade on IDAHOTB

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21 May 2018 Shannon Power

Fiji has just made history as the first country in the Pacific to host a LGBTI Pride parade.

The Pride March coincided with this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBT).

Rainbow Pride Foundation 4 LGBTQ Rights and Equality in Fiji organized the history making event. It decided to hold the parade in Fiji’s second biggest city, Lautoka, after police denied multiple requests to hold it in the capital, Suva.

Rainbow Pride Foundation’s executive director, Isikeli Vulavou said it was a ‘breakthrough’ to get permission to hold the parade. Local police even provided an escort for the 50 parade participants.

‘Being part of the parade, the participants shared on how liberating it was for them to call upon the public to realise that people of sexual and gender minorities exists, and are here to stay,’ Vulavou told Gay Star News.

‘For another, it was a historic moment, and was glad to be part of a time, when LGBTQI people were finally given a space to freely express themselves, have their voices heard on the streets, and simply being acknowledged for who they are.’

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LGBTI Pride in Fiji

Fiji is a small country in the South Pacific Ocean with a population of just under 900,000 people.

Homosexuality is legal in Fiji. It became the second country in the world to enshrine the rights of LGBTI people in its Constitution. South Africa was the first country to do so in 1994.

But LGBTI people still face discrimination and violence, sometimes even at the hands of their own families.

In 2012, police cancelled an already approved Pride March at the last minute because it ‘did not realise that this was a march for gays and lesbians’.

Even Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is not very supportive of LGBTI people. He famously said in 2016 that all LGBTI people in Fiji should move to Iceland and stay there.

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That’s why the parade was historic

The multiple cancellations of previous Pride events and discrimination faced by LGBTI people made last week’s parade very special.

‘It is important to hold public demonstrations like we did, so as to create and raise awareness about the existence of people of sexual and gender minorities, as we have our own set of challenges and struggles, and that LGBTQI people are often more vulnerable in most settings, including at their respective homes and families, workplaces and communities,’ Vulavou said.

 

 


Strong because of Mum

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“I AM a strong woman today because a strong woman raised me.”This was the sentiment shared by Katie Bari as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community celebrated International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) in Lautoka on Thursday.

Ms Bari is the daughter of Ilisapeci Raileqe, a volunteer with LBGTQI group Rainbow  Pride Foundation.

She said her mother, a former sex worker, was one of the strongest survivors of stigmatisation discrimination sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“I remember one evening when my mum sat my brother and I down to confess she is a lesbian, my brother then did not understand but I was furious at her,” she said.

“I was angry. At first I could not come to terms with the fact that the woman who gave life to me is lesbian but mother’s love was never ending.”

Ms Bari said despite all the ordeals, her mother showed how much she cared for and  loved her family.

“My grandparents accepted and supported mum despite her sexual orientation even though it was against their faith-based belief.

“If ever there were differences in the family, never did mum show any grudge. She stood firm in what she believed in and for that, I am very proud of her.

“It was only during the death of my grandparents that I finally overcame all my fears and accepted my mother for who she is because who am I to judge when God’s love knows no gender.”


 

Event to raise awareness on LGBTQI challenges

Members of the LGBT Rainbow Pride Group . Picture: BALJEET SINGH
Picture: BALJEET SINGH

DISCRIMINATION and harassment endured by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community is still eminent in society.

Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) executive director Isikeli Vulavou claimed because of their sexuality or gender identity, many Fijians were separated from family and friends, harassed in the workplace or on the sporting field, abused by their neighbours or assaulted on the streets.

As the world prepares to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), advocates in Fiji are preparing to mark the event by raising awareness on the challenges faced by the LGBTQI community.

“Inequalities and exclusion also impedes sustainable human development and as such there is a need to reduce inequalities and end exclusion for all those left behind. “This means creating enabling legal and policy environments that will end all forms of stigma and discrimination and advance the rights of all people including LGBTQI people,” he said.

Mr Vulavou said IDAHOTB was an important opportunity to display the vibrancy of the LGBTQI community and the organisation’s commitment to fighting for equality and acceptance.

“This year’s IDAHOTB theme is ‘Alliances for Solidarity’, recognising the importance of solidarity and alliances, in the work to highlight the struggles, celebrate the achievements and continue to press for change, of hearts and minds towards people of gender and diverse sexual minorities.

“We will be highlighting recent RPF research, the discussions and activities shedding light on the overlapping dimensions of exclusion LGBTQI people face based not only on their sexual orientation or gender identity, but also on other identities such as their ethnicity, religion or social status.”

Yesterday the foundation marked the event in Lautoka.


 

Mindpearl Supports Aids Awareness in Partnership with The Rainbow Pride Foundation

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Mindpearl, partnered with Rainbow Pride to commemorate World Aids Day with an extensive, internal awareness campaign.

A team from the Rainbow Pride Foundation set up information centres on Mindpearl’s site to conduct HIV counselling and testing. All Mindpearl employees wore red and wrote messages on the palms of their hands to express their unity in the fight against AIDS. The Rainbow Pride Foundation set up stations to educate staff on various topics relating to HIV/AIDS and offered counselling, testing and treatment on site.

Human Resources Manager at Mindpearl Fiji, Archana Kumar said, “As part of our overall sustainability efforts, we have had a long-standing commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS in the communities where we operate, as well as our own workplace.”

Isikeli Vulavou, Executive Director at the Rainbow Pride Foundation extended her thanks and said, “We truly value your partnership and admire the care you demonstrated for the well-being of your staff and look forward to conducting similar projects with Mindpearl in the future.”

About The Rainbow Pride Foundation:

The Rainbow pride foundation is an established organisation that is committed to fighting for rights, equality, social justice, health and well-being. The Rainbow Pride Foundation is actively involved in addressing the growing challenges experienced by communities today.

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