A History of Fijian Women’s Activism (1900-2010)

History

Fijian women collectively challenged their double colonization
since the 1900s. Indentured women workers pioneered “embryonic
agitations”(evidenced through strikes, physical confrontations, and
written petitions) against exploitative colonial officials and Indian overseers. The 1920s saw a shift in the nature of women’s activism towards
a discourse of economic empowerment, with the rise of indigenous organic organizations like Qele ni Ruve. This period was followed by the
transcultural platform of the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asian Women’s
Association in the 1940s and the contemporary women’s movement of the
1960s led by the Fiji Young Women’s Christian Association. The latter
was marked by convergences with and divergences from transnational
discourses. The focus-feminisms of the 1980s brought human rights to
the forefront of women’s activism. This phase has continued until the
present day, although there is now an emphasis on peace and reconciliation in post-coup Fiji.

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Journal Article
Submitted by Margaret Mishra
April 1, 2021
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