The 3rd Pacific Feminist Forum starts today 8 May in Fiji until 10 May 2023. It is described by the organisers as ‘a platform for Pacific feminists to come together and share their experiences and strategies and inspire others to take on new challenges in their advocacy work and commitment and fight to address the issue of discrimination women face within their own countries and regions’.
This coordinated and diverse Pacific feminist civil society Forum generates and affirms Pacific feminist knowledge sharing and strategy. It provides an accessible and egalitarian space for feminist community building and organising. This has given a greater opportunity to Pacific Island civil society actors to harness, influence and promote political and social change.
Pacific regional feminist civil society is collectively creating spaces to be heard. Pacific feminists share initiatives, reconcile differences in goals, resolve tensions, have open processes, work across differences, and sustain actions which have resulted in Pacific feminist civil society having the ability to build a space for influencing other regional decision makers.
In doing so, they have also been responding to the perceived problem of a global backlash against women’s rights and rights of sexual orientation and gender identity, a failure to progress the Beijing Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals and shrinking civil society spaces for feminist civil society in global decision-making.
The individual, country, and national level feminist forums that have emerged in the last year, and the Pacific regional level forum held in 2016, 2019 and now this year, all provide ways forward to foster diversity in Pacific feminist alliances made up of individual entities and negotiate and amplify common goals. Feminist civil society acting with greater cooperation and collaboration is resulting in diverse inclusion of multiple voices of Pacific actors. The impact of feminist movements and other initiatives of marginalised groups organising to contest gender inequality is continuing to grow.
The 3rd Pacific Feminist Forum is supported by the Australian Government through the We Rise Coalition and Pacific Women Lead at Pacific-Community-SPC (PWL at SPC), the European Union in the Pacific, and the Pacific-UN Spotlight Initiative.
The 3rd PFF Working Group includes Sista, Brown Girl Woke Pacific Feminist Forum – PFF, Pacific Disability Forum, Voice For Change – Jiwaka, PNG, Kiribati Association of Non-Governmental Organisation – KANGO, femLINKpacific and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.
These coalitions and forums can be seen as forming a broader movement across difference within their own organisations and networks, but also as reaching out across movements to build numbers, amplify diverse voices and create more transformative change. The outcome statements from these forums also provide a negotiated platform that can be taken into other meetings and to grow impact and influence.
To follow the PFF, use the hashtags #𝐏𝐅𝐅𝟑 #𝐏𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐅𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐮𝐦 #𝐏𝐅𝐅𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 #𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐤𝐚𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 #𝐏𝐚𝐜𝐌𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭
Jane Alver was a participant at the Inaugural Pacific Feminist Forum in 2016.