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GIRLS mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

GIRLS mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, with two theatre performances.

Time to Tell, a play inspired by a collection of sixstories shared during a two-day storytelling session with 25 participants of FWRM’s GIRLS project. GIRLS – Grow, Inspire, Relate, Lead, Succeed, is a yearlong theatre project, designed to empower 10-12-year-old- girls and strengthen their knowledge on the rights of the girl child.

“The GIRLS, performed at the John Wesley Primary School this morning and will showcase their talents again this afternoon at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Primary School. Excitement was high this morning as many of the girls are students of these schools and were looking forward to performing in front of their teachers, classmates and friends,” said FWRM’s Executive Director Virisila Buadromo.

“For this year’s campaign, we felt it was important to focus on the girl child. Time to Tell has themes related to the impact of child sexual abuse, emotional and physical violence; the importance of parental support and recognition of children’s rights and issues of identity and coping – all very relevant to the 16 Days of Activism Campaign.”

Following successful performances earlier this year (including a public performance at the University of the South Pacific), undertaken in collaboration with Women’s Action for Change and supported by the International Women’s Development Agency, FWRM’s has noticed a marked difference in the GIRLS.

“Participants are more confident and vocal. Many have forged strong friendships and are able to better relate to each,” said Buadromo.

When asked how they felt being part of GIRLS, the young actors shared:

Akansha Kant, 12, “I learnt teamwork and how to be a good friend. I also learnt about FWRM and its programmes. I also learnt how to play soccer. This programme taught me how to do presentations and to express myself – I was very shy before”.

Lanieta Delores, 12, “Through GIRLS I learnt how to be confident, honest and how to stand up for myself. I learnt that we have helped each other and we need to respect each other.”

Belinda Bithell, 11, “Through GIRLS I learnt that as young girls we should inspire ourselves and work together as a group. We need to believe in ourselves and to believe that we can do anything.

Nancy Sahim, 13, “I have learnt that we girls have the right to say what we want and not only boys. Boys need to listen to our decisions as well. We should be treated equally”.

Tanya Tei, 13, “I am more confident now. I’m not that talkative but now I’m learning how to talk. I have learnt how to succeed and how to relate to people from different cultures. My life changed when I came into this programme. Learning to talk helps me not to feel so scared at school”.

Amelia Wojik, 12, “Through GIRLS I learnt new games and how to act better – both made me more confident. All girls go through different kinds of situations in their lives and they may need someone’s help and so we should all work together to help each other”.

Lolene Tuiqali, 12, “I have learnt to grow by being good to those younger than me; to relate to people from other cultures and to communicatewith them better. I am hoping to succeed in everything I do”.

For more information on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, visit: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/about/activist-origins-of-the-campaign

ENDS

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