Anne Walker spent 11 years with the YWCA of Fiji that marked the beginning of her long career with grassroots women. Walker is one of the founders of the International Women’s Tribune Centre ( IWTC) and has participated as an activist and organiser in all four UN world conferences on women and NGO Forums in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995).
In this interview with World YWCA, Walker provides a history of the YWCA of Fiji and calls on the UN to take responsibility in bringing peace to the women of Fiji.
The Pacific YWCAs, especially Fiji, have always made peace a priority in their work. How do you think this current situation will affect the work of the YWCA of Fiji and other women’s movements?
The early history of the YWCA of Fiji, certainly in terms of the work around current and public affairs in the 1960s, was very focused on the Fiji independence struggle and the fight against nuclear testing in Mururoa, French Polynesia. The YWCA took a leading role in both of these major events, joining forces with other community groups and, in the late 60s, with students from the newly established University of the South Pacific.