IDAHOT Events 2015: Fiji – Community Radio and Creative Arts

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FemLINKPACIFIC’s community radio stations FemTALK 89FM Suva and Labasa dedicated the week of May 17 – 22 to IDAHOT, continuing with the theme of “Rainbow Connections”. The community radio airwaves was used to share information about the ‘herstory’ of IDAHOT and profiled the Rainbow Connections broadcast team partnerships with Haus of Khameleon, DIVA for Equality, Oceania Pride and Rainbow Women’s Network. And IDAHOT Fiji invited everyone on May 21 to an evening of Creative Arts and Expression.

[box type=”note” ]We are still busy collecting information on this year’s IDAHOT activities and are waiting to hear back from activists and event organisers. If you have information to share with us, please write us at[/box]

The on air content featured highlights from FemLINKPACIFIC’s successful IDAHOT Radio with Pictures events in May 2014 which was one of the most diverse television programmes hosted by the organization with rural women leaders including disability and LGBT activists.RainbowConnections-FemTALK%2089FM

Meanwhile as broadcast team members of “Rainbow Connections” is producing a series of radio documentaries addressing the theme of IDAHOT 2015.

As a number of them will be attending the Pacific Sexual Diversity Network Conference in Tonga they will also be producing a series of radio documentaries to be available for broadcast from May 17 – 22 (to be confirmed).

FemLINKPACIFIC’s next edition of Community Radio policy brief “Soundbytes” is also dedicated to diversities on the airwaves as they once again make linkages with communication rights for women of all diversities in order to define and communicate their peace, human security and development. In May 2015, they were commemorating the 11th anniversary of FemTALK 89FM as well as the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

Note by the organisers

We have a couple of updates already in terms of tweets, Facebook as well as podcast updates from FemLINPACIFIC and we are currently working on a story for our community radio times which we will share further

This year’s IDAHOT Fiji coalition event was #IDAHOTFiji Unplugged, an evening of creative arts and expressions with members of Fiji’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community and their allies.

The event was organised by feminist and queer group- DIVA for Equality FIJI, Emerging Leaders Forum Alumni, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Drodrolagi Movement, Oceania Pride, Rainbow Pride Foundation, Fiji Young Women’s Forum and Haus of Khameleon with the partnership and support of the School of Language, Arts and Media (SLAM) and USP Counselling Centre at the University of the South Pacific.

The objectives of #IDAHOTFiji Unplugged are:

-To promote and raise awareness for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

-To allow LGBTIQ people to express themselves through creative means

-To build the community spirit of LGBTIQ people, their families, friends and allies

Over 180 people attended the event (with some people standing or sitting) as members of the LGBTIQ community expressed themselves through stories, poems, spoken word, skits, songs and dance highlighting stigma, violence, discrimination and stories of survival in the community.

Most of the pieces performed on the evening were original pieces and the organisers hope to publish them in a zine. 

We have also published a timeline of social and mainstream coverage of our event and the days leading up to IDAHOT:

Fiji_IDAHOT Unplugged

Fiji’s NGO Coalition on Human Rights has called for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) youth on the occasion of May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

“Organisations such as the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and LGBTIQ networks continue to receive reports of young people who face bullying, intimidation, and other forms of psychological or physical violence because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” said Shamima Ali, Chair of the NGO Coalition.
“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to grow up in safe and welcoming environments, where they can develop their personalities, identities and talents respectfully,” said Ali.
“The Ministry of Education’s Policy on Child Protection in Schools calls upon all schools to “respect their (children) rights, wishes, sexual orientation and feelings”, therefore there should be zero tolerance on any homophobic or transphobic bullying in educational institutions,” said Ali.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is the commemoration of the World Health Organisation’s May 17, 1990 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
IDAHOT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including Fiji. The global campaign unites millions of people in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Fiji_Coalition on Human Rights_IDAHOT2015

Read more here.

IWDA’s, the International Women’s Development Agency,  partner organisation Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) has been working in solidarity with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) groups as part of their programs for many years, in recognition of the similar forms of discrimination faced by women and LGBTI people. For IDAHOT they gave an interview on the importance of IDAHOT.

It’s a significant day for us because all around the world, including Fiji, it draws the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally. And in Fiji, the day brings together lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms in solidarity. It’s a day where we celebrate our diversities with pride.

You can find the full interview here.

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