The Fiji Times – Olympic supplement
3 Aug, 2021
The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre congratulates the national men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams for their extraordinary performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Your brilliant performance at the biggest sporting event in the world made us cheer, cry and come together in unity at a very difficult time in the history of our country.
In the midst of our crisis, you made us believe that we can overcome “to endure whatever befalls” as our National Anthem says.
The second gold medal win by our men’s team and the historic bronze medal win by our Fijiana team reminds us that there is victory in working together.
When this COVID-19 pandemic is relegated into the backroom of history, we shall never forget these victories.
As a feminist organisation, FWCC would like to pay special tribute to the Fijana team for its hard work, dedication and for proving their critics wrong that rugby is not only a men’s sport.
To the world you won bronze, but to Fijians you won gold.
FWCC has supported women in sports for the last 12 years, working with the Fiji Rugby Union to support school girls rugby, development of a child protection policy, funding grassroots tournaments, advocacy trainings, providing meals and sporting gears and most importantly, calling out the discrimination and gender stereotyping within the sport.
We know of your challenges firsthand, we know the disparity in the distribution of resources and we are fully aware of your cries for recognition at national level.
Most of our players are grassroots women who with limited support and resources, played from a place of patriotism, love and dedication for their country, despite countless challenges.
These players have put Fiji Women’s Rugby on the global platform and a force to be reckoned with in sports.
They have made Fiji and the Pacific proud and they deserve to be supported and recognised just like our
men’s teams are.
It’s time our government and sports institutions support and resource women’s contributions to sports.
It’s time that our chiefs, provincial administrators and village elders support the development of women and girls in sports and call out gender stereotyping.
FWCC would like to also acknowledge and congratulate the families, coaches, managers, administrators and volunteers for building the foundation and preparing and mentoring the team in the lead up to the Olympic Games.
Despite the many barriers you faced, you have indeed proven yourselves to the nation.
FWCC believes an effective sports is an effective platform to advocate for gender equality and the elimination of violence against women.
Our players deserve the highest accolades and we are proud of you!