Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective
This report has been written from the transcripts of the Workshop on Women, Development and Empowerment, held in Fiji in March 1987. It reflects the process of the workshop - the discussions and questioning that evolved into a shared understanding of, and a committment to, a feminist perspective for the Pacific.
The report therefore proceeds as the workshop did - from its early discussions of feminism, to more familiar sessions on work experience (projects and programmes), to analyses of “development” and its assumptions. It was felt important that the report convey the process of the workshop, the difficulties and differences of opinion that existed, while also covering the positive agreements that emerged. The report therefore covers the workshop presentation, discussions, opinions and feelings, before presenting the clearer statements of vision and strategies that were agreed upon later.
Hopefully, a report of this sort may help recreate the workshop for those who participated and be a means of sharing the experience with other women in the Pacific and elsewhere who could not attend. It may also be useful to women who may wish to hold a similar workshop; the presentation of the report has been designed with this in mind.
I would like to thank Pamela Yee and Sharon Bing for patiently typing the early drafts. Claire Slatter assisted in the early stages and made useful comments. Sharon Bing carried the burden of retyping the successive drafts and was generous in giving her time to assisting with the layout of the report. I am extremely grateful for her cheerful presence and support. Christina Joe was prevailed upon to produce a cover design and illustrations and also kindly assisted with the layout. I also thank the USP Computer Centre for the use of its facilities.
I owe very special thanks to Joan Yee who liaised with the typists, proof-read the many drafts, and was on hand with help whenever it was needed. The production of this report would not have been possible without her help. Finally, I would like to thank Noeleen Heyzer, for being such an enabling person and for waiting so patiently for this report.