Patricia Imrana Jalal, lawyer and gender advocate

Patricia Imrana Jalal is a Fijian lawyer and gender advocate, who served as a Human Rights Commissioner on the Fiji Human Rights Commission, as a Fiji Law Reform Commissioner,  and as Human Rights Advisor to the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the United Nations Development Program. She is a Commissioner on the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, to which she was elected in … Continue reading Patricia Imrana Jalal, lawyer and gender advocate

“It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

Reverend Sereima Lomaloma is an advocate for gender equality and the elimination of violence against women and children in Fiji and the Pacific, advocating through the Anglican church, House of Sarah and and other faith-based organisations since the early 2000s. For this portrait, she told the SPC that “It’s time for the church to also speak out against the injustices in society, violence in all … Continue reading “It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a second-generation Fijian women’s rights advocate working at the intersection of gender and media. Following a successful high-profile career as a radio and television producer and presenter in Fiji, she helped establish femLINKpacific in 2000 as a regional women-led media organisation that advocates for Pacific women as decision makers in the long-term transformation of their respective island countries. In 2004, femLINK … Continue reading This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

Fijian human rights activist Noelene Nabulivou is a determined voice of disenfranchised women and people. As a brave, openly lesbian Pacific woman in a region where the LGBTI+ community continues to face discrimination, she works for justice for all Pacific islanders. Noelene is known for the political care, sharpness and passion of her work. “I love being a Pacific islander. We are funny, fierce and … Continue reading This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

Suliana Siwatibau, 77, has made immense contributions to the Pacific region over many decades, working across multiple fields including science, environment, leadership and activism for peace, democracy and human rights. A botanist by training, Mrs Siwatibau started out teaching science at secondary school level in Fiji, then later biology at the University of the South Pacific before switching to agricultural research. She was also a … Continue reading From high school teacher to political activist to sustainable development

She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

Seventy-three-year-old retired politician Adi Finau Tabakaucoro has spent a lifetime advocating for the interests of indigenous Fijian women and girls. She is the current President of the largest women’s civil society organisation in Fiji; Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Viti, which works in the country’s 14 provinces on village, district and provincial matters as well as national development policies, programming, laws, regulations and services. A wide range of … Continue reading She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

This ecological economist helped save the mangroves of Fiji

Dr Padma Narsey Lal is a Fijian ecological economist known for her pioneering work in interdisciplinary research in the Pacific, integrating ecology and environmental economics, helping Pacific Island nations with the challenges of sustainable development and environment management for over 40 years. Her ground breaking work in the Pacific has covered a wide range of sectors and thematic areas including cost-benefit analysis, market and non-market … Continue reading This ecological economist helped save the mangroves of Fiji

Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

Sashi Kiran is the trailblazing founder and chief executive officer of a grassroots not-for-profit that provides economic opportunities for underserved communities in Fiji. She started Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development, or FRIEND as it is better known, after Fiji’s 2000 political crisis to create income generating opportunities for women and men from rural and peri-urban settlements and villages, youth and people with special … Continue reading Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

The Fijian Women’s National Rugby team shows the men how it’s done

The Fijian Women’s National Rugby Team Fijiana made history in 2016 when they became the first women’s rugby team from the Pacific region to qualify for the Rio Olympics. They were only one of 12 national teams in the world to qualify to complete in the women’s rugby sevens competition at Rio despite facing countless adversities to get there. Fijiana’s journey is representative of women’s … Continue reading The Fijian Women’s National Rugby team shows the men how it’s done

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The push by Vanuatu to legalize kava root worlwide

For Pacificans, the idea that kava could be considered a drug or a toxic plant is strange, but it is still the case in many parts of the world. Kava is cultivated all over our ocean to produce a traditional bitter drink from its roots. When prepared correctly, drinking kava creates a mellowing effect and a wellness feeling without affecting cognitive functions. It has an … Continue reading The push by Vanuatu to legalize kava root worlwide