Women in Fiji’s capital Suva celebrated International Women’s Day through participation in empowerment theatre and workshops relating to reproductive health rights. This week follows the launch of Fiji’s new reproductive health policy, in late 2011. The new policy has an unusual focus on the role men play in reproductive health, and maps out a framework of key strategic areas and activities to be implemented and identifies mechanisms for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of program and services.

Following the launch of this bill, Fijian NGO Women’s Action for Change has been working with marginalised groups to empower women with information about their rights and spread awareness of violence against women. Women in Suva gathered to take part in a week long workshop enabled by a grant from the UN Women Pacific Fund to end Violence Against Women. It provided a safe space to discuss and share stories around reproductive health and violence.

Stories told in a series of workshops have also been developed into a play under the guidance of WAC staff. The play, Reproductive Health and Rights looks at stories from women in a variety of situations and contexts, including the challenges faced by a single mother and an abused pregnant woman. The finished piece has been well received following performances audiences around the capital, including a performance for inmates at Suva’s Women’s Prison.

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