Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality
Diverse Voices and Action, or DIVA for Equality, as it is also known, is a rapidly growing collective and peer support group of lesbian, bisexual women and trans masculine people, and other marginalised women including in non-traditional employment and sports. It grew out of a growing desire of a group of women to work on issues of human rights and social justice, including young women interested in sports ranging from rugby, soccer, to volleyball and hockey, music and the arts.
DIVA for Equality comes out of south feminist and lesbian activism, and links into wider women's, youth, human rights, ecological, climate justice, trade justice, sustainable development and peace-building alliances and coalitions in Fiji and abroad.
Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, a collective of Fijian lesbian, bisexual, transmasculine and gender-conforming women takes this moment to remind all citizens in Fiji, including the Prime Minister, Ministers, Police Force and all State services, on the text of the Fiji Constitution as the highest law in the land.
Their Fiji Bill of Rights Chapter 2, paragraph 26 of the Constitution is specifically focused on, “The Right to Equality and Freedom from Discrimination”. It includes reference to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Their basic human rights would therefore include the right to marry and be in relationships with those they choose. However, just as with countries all over the world, it is clear that they are nowhere near fulfilling all such human rights, in a universal way.
So the work continues, on many issues including marriage equality. Hence the need for easily accessible human rights and sustainable development education in all main vernacular languages, to ensure that everyone in Fiji is fully aware of their human rights, the Fiji Constitution, and all laws and policies.
It is therefore deeply disappointing that the Prime Minister of Fiji has publicly spoken out in this way on his personal views. Politicians must surely be careful to articulate the difference between personal political opinions on one hand, and adherence to rule of law and human rights on the other - this is the bedrock of modern secular democratic states.
As a group concerned about the lives of LGBTQI people, they must publicly take issue at the use of phrases such as 'this rubbish' when speaking about the hopes and dreams of ANY Fiji citizens. This is not the language of leadership and vision.