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Women in Fiji
Native Fijian women, 1935.
Gender Inequality Index[1]
Value0.318 (2021)
Rank77th out of 191
Global Gender Gap Index[2]
Value0.676 (2022)
Rank106th out of 146

Women in Fiji live in or are from the Republic of Fiji. On March 8, 2007, The Fiji Times ONLINE described Fijian women as playing an important role in the fields of economic and social development in Fijian society. The women of the Republic of Fiji are the "driving force" in health service as nurses and medical doctors. They are also key players and managers in the tourism and entertainment industries, as well as teachers in the field of education.[3]

According Vilimaina Rakaseta "the presence of very young children and larger family sizes contribute to the low level of labour force participation of Fijian and Indian women in Fiji."[4] By culture and tradition, a woman in Fiji lives in a paternalistic and patriarchal society wherein she has a secondary role at home performing household chores that include cooking meals and cleaning the house. As community and village members women are treated as subservient to men.[5]

Eating customs

By tradition, most of the cooking is performed by Fijian women. Indo-Fijian cuisine may include food made from starch and involves the use of relishes made from vegetables. If available, meat and fish are also eaten. Flatbread may be made from locally grown rice or from imported flour. Traditional Indo-Fijian eating custom requires that women eat separately from men. For religious reasons Hindu Indo-Fijians avoid consuming beef and Muslim Indo-Fijians avoid consuming pork.[6]

Violence against women

Main article: Violence against women in Fiji

Violence against women in Fiji is recognised to be "pervasive, widespread and a serious national issue"[7] in the Pacific Island region. Fiji's rates of violence against women are "among the very highest in the world".[8] The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre reports that 64% of women who have been in intimate relationships have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner, including 61% who were physically attacked and 34% who were sexually abused.[8]

The 2006 Fijian coup d'état created conditions which exacerbated the presence of violence against women in Fijian society, especially in the public sector.[9] Conventional attitudes about the place of women in Fijian society perpetuate the normalisation of violence against women and permeate extended family groups, the local authorities and the judiciary.[10] Customary and religious practices like bulubulu (forgiveness ceremonies) deal with domestic violence cases within the family, usually either precluding prosecution for the perpetrator or reducing their sentence.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORTS. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Global Gender Gap Report 2022" (PDF). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  3. ^ "Roles women play". The Fiji Times ONLINE. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  4. ^ Rakaseta, Vilimaina L. "Women's work and fertility in Fiji" (PDF). Pacific Health Dialog Vol. 2 No. 1. Original Papers. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  5. ^ "The traditional Fijian". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  6. ^ Walker, Anthony R. "Fiji". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  7. ^ Forster, Christine (2011). "Ending Domestic Violence in Pacific Island Countries: The Critical Role of Law". Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal. 12 (2).
  8. ^ a b "Somebody's Life, Everybody's Business!" (PDF). Fiji Women's Crisis Centre. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Briefing to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: Violence against Women in Fiji". Amnesty International. June 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Report). 16 September 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  11. ^ Jivan and Forster (October 2009). "Challenging Conventions: In Pursuit of Greater Legislative Compliance with CEDAW in the Pacific". Melbourne Journal of International Law. 10 (2). Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 29 April 2015.