American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Challenges for Civil Society Organisations to Meet Women Needs: Urban Squatter Settlements in Fiji
Shana Nigar Khan

Women play an important role in the development process. Fiji was one of the first in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and commit to eliminate other types of discrimination faced by women. However, the increasing rate of urbanisation is putting pressure on urban resources to provide for women’s needs in squatter settlements. Fiji’s national development plans (aligned with Millennium Development Goals) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) revealed urban squatter settlements are a symptom of poverty and affect all groups of women in squatter settlement; resulting to women’s feminisation of poverty and comprehensive vulnerability. This paper aims to discuss the challenges faced by women in squatter settlements, and how Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have designed institutional annual plans and worked towards achieving their organisational goals. The semi-structured interviews results with women of Jittu Estate, Suva and Service Providers within Suva identified the gaps of how service providers failed to include gender-specific policies to accommodate women’s need. To understand women’s needs, CSOs need to promote gender-equality and understand that women’s needs are diverse and explicit attention is needed to reduce hardship and further feminisation of poverty and bring about positive development for women and their family.

Full Text: PDF