This paper considers some aspects of the subtle intersections between race and democracy and their effects on the pursuit of gender equality for women in Fiji. As in most countries, women in Fiji are not defined only by their sex but by many forces and the interplay between them. In Fiji these forces include the consequences of colonisation and the British divide-and-rule policy, the loss of democracy and the vulnerability to coups, social and economic class, ethnicity, poverty, religious fundamentalism and race. The women’s NGO (non-government organisation) movement views political stability based on democracy as a precondition for the attainment of women’s rights. Two massive political upheavals, seemingly racially motivated coups and the loss of democracy, ih 1987 and 2000 have derailed feminist progress and given rise to questions of campaigning priorities in times of instability: gender versus the political.