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In the words of Varanisese Maisamoa: “We want to empower our market vendors to be climate resilient”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In February 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, showing the heightened vulnerability of people living in the Pacific Islands, where climate change has led to a series of increasingly severe cyclones in the recent years. With farms, markets, including the Rakiraki Market and its accommodation centre for rural women destroyed, livelihoods of market vendors such as Varanisese Maisamoa were compromised. But today, through UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project, Maisamoa, aged 39 years, has not only got back on her feet, she has also become a strong leader in her community. As leader of Rakiraki’s women’s group, and now, as the President of the Rakiraki Market Vendors Association, her insights were critical in helping UN Women adapt its existing M4C project to provide humanitarian support to market vendors impacted by the cyclone. Rakiraki Market’s reconstruction is currently underway, featuring Category-5 cyclone resilient infrastructure, a rain water harvesting system, flood resistant drainage, and a gender-responsive design. The Markets for Change project is principally funded by the Australian Government and implemented in partnership with UNDP. More

Take five: “The most effective solutions come from listening to women”

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Shamima Ali is a feminist activist from Fiji. She is the chairperson and one of the founding members of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women. She has been a Coordinator at the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre for the past 31 years. Ms. Ali has also served as a Human Rights Commissioner in Fiji from 2004 to 2006. Her work has included developing and conducting training with police and other service-providers in Fiji and in the Pacific region. More

In the words of Shobhna Verma: “Once I came into the market, there was no turning back”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

For the past 35 years, Shobhna Verma has made her living selling produce at Suva Market in Fiji’s capital. Today, Shobhna is the Legal Advisor with the Suva United Market Vendors Association in Fiji and has attended a series of trainings starting in 2005, on financial literacy, organizing, leadership, first aid, and disaster risk resilience, as part of UN Women’s Markets for Change project (M4C). More

Placing Pacific women at the forefront of disaster planning and response

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

As the Pacific braces itself for another cyclone season, UN Women is leading efforts to ensure that women and girls are at the centre of disaster preparedness, response and recovery work. More

Preparing for disasters, rebuilding in the aftermath

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On International Day for Disaster Reduction, 13 October, UN Women spotlights women’s rights and potential for building more disaster resilient communities and nations. More

A snapshot of our work in response to the cyclone in Fiji

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The strongest cyclone ever to make landfall in the Southern Hemisphere, Cyclone Winston ravaged Fiji on 20 February 2016, destroying crops and critical infrastructure and flattening villages. In its wake, UN Women has been providing funds and technical support to local women and organizations as they work to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, help them access essential information about relief and protection services, and rebuild the marketplaces that provided women and their families with a secure food supply. More

Expert’s take: Getting the post-cyclone response right for women in Fiji

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Aleta Miller is the Representative for UN Women’s Fiji Multi-country Office. A Clinical Psychologist with a Master’s degree in International Public Health, she has worked for the UN, national governments and NGOs across Asia, the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She reflects on UN Women’s coordination role in the response to Cyclone Winston, using protection to drive gender equality and address vulnerability. More

Finding inspiration amid devastation in Fiji

Monday, March 21, 2016

As part of our editorial series titled "A day in the life of...", Ellie van Baaren, regional communications and media specialist for UN Women’s Fiji Multi-Country Office, provides a glimpse into her work in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston. More

Women's economic empowerment critical for safeguarding food security

Monday, March 21, 2016

The loss of crops in floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston has undermined the livelihood of the family who grows it, but also that of market vendors and countless customers who relied on this produce each day. More

Psycho-social assessments help address needs of women and girls in Fiji

Friday, March 18, 2016

Empower Pacific counsellors carry out psycho-social assessments in affected communities and evacuation sites gathering, information on the kind of services and support that is required. More

Temporary market space in Rakiraki supports vendors post Cyclone Winston

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

As part of its Markets for Change project, UN Women provided tents, extra tables and chairs to provide a temporary market space for as many vendors as possible while the new market building is constructed. More

From where I stand: Anisa Marama

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Anisa Marama is a 79-year-old market vendor in Fiji’s capital, Suva, and has been taking part in workshops on financial literacy and workplace organizations as part of UN Women’s Markets for Change project. More

Fiji’s market vendors and farmers face an uncertain future

Monday, February 29, 2016

UN Women staff visited some of the worst-affected areas in Fiji in the days after Category 5 Cyclone Winston hit to talk to market vendors and farmers. More

Women of Fiji look for support to rebuild their livelihoods

Friday, February 26, 2016

Thousands of women in Fiji rely on income gleaned from selling produce or handicrafts at local markets to pay for their children’s education and day-to-day living expenses. Tropical Cyclone Winston's destruction of crops and market buildings not only takes away their source of income, it threatens the food security of entire communities, as well as having wider implications for their families’ health, nutrition and education. More

Fiji cyclone appeal: Help keep women and girls safe and support rebuilding efforts

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On 20 February 2016, Fiji was hit by one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. Wind gusts of over 300 km per hour flattened villages, destroyed crops and damaged critical infrastructure. Around 98 per cent of the population has been affected, the majority of whom are women and children. The women of Fiji already faced rates of violence double the global average and the aftermath of the cyclone puts women at an even greater risk of sexual or physical assault, even as they work to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Women in Fiji need somewhere to turn if they experience violence and support in rebuilding their livelihoods. More

In Fiji first responders train to address sexual violence in disasters

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Because the risk of violence against women and girls increases in the aftermath of a disaster, UN Women is supporting training for first responders and disaster-risk-reduction planners in Fiji to prevent, recognize and address violence in emergencies across the Pacific. More

Markets set to improve with Pacific women in the lead

Friday, August 29, 2014

UN Women is working with women market vendors in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to improve their working conditions, earning power and leadership skills. More

Putting women at the forefront of climate change and disaster response in the Pacific

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Whether training women solar engineers in Fiji or assisting with the humanitarian response plan after a major cyclone in Tonga, UN Women is working with climate-change and disaster-management professionals across the Pacific. More

Markets for Change to seek safety and better earnings for women in the Pacific

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vendors and management at marketplaces across Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are set to benefit from a new project that will inject almost USD 11 million into ensuring they provide safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory working environments. More

In Fiji, communities mobilize ground-up to end violence against women and girls

Monday, November 18, 2013

Street workers and the homeless are raising awareness and halting violence against women in public spaces, while more than 700 students and teachers are educating to transform attitudes in 63 schools across Fiji. More

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