Fiji women working for peace

The women of Fiji are an inspiration!


Subject: [pacwin] Friday 14 December 2006

Friday 14 December 2006
Suva, Fiji Islands

They gathered in silence. Close to 40 women and young women at the Holy
Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Suva, symbolizing a collective commitment to
non violence:

“I need to reiterate that non-violence does not mean passivity, but as
women¹s peace groups around the world have exemplified, it is a creative and
courageous way of living. In our own Pacific region ­ in Bougainville and
the Solomon Islands women have walked across the barriers of conflict to
negotiate peace ­ to bring about disarmament and assist in enabling peace
talks, and the revival of our Suva vigil, which will continue on a weekly
basis, is a symbolic gesture of how we can come together from our differing
social and political backgrounds, in unity for sustainable peace for Fiji,”
says Peace Vigil facilitator, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, the Coordinator of

As an organisation which supports the proposed Presidential Commission of
Inquiry for Truth, Justice and Resolution, we can only reiterate at this
time that we need conciliatory dialogue amongst all stakeholders, including
women¹s groups, to help secure a constitutional resolution to help move our
country forward, to enable our peace process.

What is critical, says femLINKPACIFIC, is to ensure the representation of
women in the formal process of peacebuilding ­ from the planning stage,

As advocates of the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution
1325 (Women, Peace and Security) we reiterate that women and women¹s groups in Fiji and in the Pacific Island Region have played an active, vital role
in the building and maintenance of peace, democracy and human rights. Our
experiences and resources must be urgently called upon and utilized, as
called for in Security Council resolution 1325, which recognizes the
important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in
peace-building, and the importance of their equal participation and full
involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and

The Thursday Blue Ribbon Peace Vigil will be held again at 1pm next Thursday
and Bhagwan-Rolls is calling on women leaders in other centres of Fiji to
also gather in solidarity at the same time: This is one way we can help
peacefully unify our country, at a time when we need to put our political
differences aside as we seek resolution for the current crisis and also
prepare to journey together in preparation for our participation in Fiji¹s
long term reconstruction and transformation.


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