Fiji has experienced four coups since 1987. Between 2006 and 2014, Fiji was under military rule. For decades, Fiji citizens and human rights defenders have experienced regular arrests and intimidation. This difficult and hostile environment limited free speech and freedom of assembly.

In September 2014, Fiji held elections intending to create a democratic government. Only 16% of the elected representatives were women. Yet, a 2014 survey supported by IWDA showed that 72% of people in Fiji feel that more women should be in national government. Would-be women politicians face conservative attitudes and lack of leadership opportunities.

Young women in particular face difficulty taking on leadership roles. They experience both gender discrimination and age discrimination. Cultural traditions mean that younger people often cannot express themselves around more senior people. This cultural practice can shut out the voices and opinions of young women. Fiji had no elections between 2006 and 2014, so younger women have limited experience with politics.

In most areas of Fiji, households can be very patriarchal. Women have low education and find it hard to contribute to family economy. About one-third of people in Fiji live below the poverty line of AU$3.30 a day.

IWDA works with local partners to promote power and money for women in Fiji.

A few achievements of IWDA and our partners last year


copies of a young women’s guide to voting ran out in six weeks prior to the 2014 Fiji elections


people in Fiji were surveyed about perceptions of women in leadership, and 81% think women are under-represented in national government


people reached through our leadership initiative for Pacific women

Women at a table having a discussion in Fiji
Collaborating in Fiji. Photo: Kristy Nowland

Fiji facts


population of Fiji


year of independence from United Kingdom


Coups since 1987

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