Autonomy, Rights, Resources: A conversation with the Aotearoa New Zealand Sex Workers’ Collective
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Written and interviewed by Tenzin Dolker
Edited by Muna Gurung
Illustrations by Priyanka Singh Maharjan
Overlooked and underfunded: The Fiji Women’s Fund reflects on the struggle to resource women’s rights and feminist organisations in the Pacific.
Juli Dugdale was an Australian feminist who practiced intergenerational leadership rooted in principles of feminism, inclusion and equality. She was a leader, peer and mentor for many women and especially young women around the world.
Juli was a dedicated staff member, volunteer and fervent advocate for young women’s leadership with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) movement for over 30 years.
Mereani Naisua Senibici
Mereani Naisua Senibici, also called ‘Sua’, was a longstanding member of the Fiji Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) movement.
She worked with diverse groups of women in multi-racial, rural and urban settings and was committed to supporting and promoting women’s and young women’s rights.
In the Lautoka YWCA, she worked with women of Indian descent, and was a leading figure in the sports development and participation of women and of trans athletes in Lautoka.
“I’ve witnessed discrimination on the streets, being teased on the streets and verbally abused on the streets. I have also made numerous friends and have met a lot of people. There may be dangers out there but I am a survivor and this is where I will be for now.”
- Sainimili Naivalu
Selena “Rocky” Malone
Rocky showed inspirational leadership and direction in working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Brotherboy and Sistergirl (LGBTIQBBSG) youth at risk.
Rocky started her career with the Queensland Police Service as a Police Liaison Officer. Making a difference was important to her. She led an impressive career working with young LGBTIQBBSG people as the Manager of Open Doors Youth Service.
Mariam Uy Acob
Mariam was a paralegal at the Kawagib Moro Human Rights Alliance.
Mariam was a staunch critic of militarization in Moro communities, and consistently denounced aerial bombardment and encampment. She had to seek sanctuary after exposing and calling out the injustices committed against Muslim communities in the Philippines.
She is believed to have been killed by suspected military agents because of her work as a WHRD. The assailants who killed Mariam waited for her, caught up with the vehicle she was using and shot her seven times.
Shireen was an inspiration to many feminists in Fiji and a powerful ally to the women’s movement. She advocated tirelessly for gender equality locally and regionally.
She began her career as a junior gender specialist at the Asian Development Bank and brought about drastic changes to the institution’s gender policies.
Her research, “Rule by the Danda: Domestic violence amongst Indo Fijians” was one of the earliest pieces of research on domestic violence, marriage and women in Fiji. This seminal work has been a catalyst for feminist work in this area.
So'oalo was a fervent human rights advocate, especially pertaining to the rights of the LGBTQI community in the Pacific.
She was a member of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association (SFA) and a passionate advocate for the acknowledgement of a third gender in the island country. Under her leadership, the SFA pushed for the recognition of the validity and rights of the fa’afafine community.