2014 Recipient


Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Fiji Islander, recognized for her dedication to enable and empower community media production in print, digital story-telling, online/social media and television to increase visibility of women and young women’s viewpoints and realities. 

February 11, 2014 – New York, NY – The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO CSW/NY), one of three women’s committees of CoNGO that advocates for women’s rights and gender equality, is proud to announce the 2014 NGO CSW Forum Woman of Distinction awardee, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls from the Fiji Islands.  Bhagwan Rolls is founder and coordinator, femLINKPACIFIC, a community media initiative that gives voice to the voiceless to empower women and ensure peace and security.

Bhagwan Rolls will be the keynote speaker at the NGO/CSW/NY Consultation Day (9 March at the Great Hall of the Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, NY, NY) along with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women.  The formal presentation of the NGO/CSW/NY Woman of Distinction award will take place at the annual NGO Reception, to be held 11 March at the Armenian Convention Center Ballroom (630 Second Ave. NY, NY) 6 – 8 pm.

Bhagwan Rolls’ commitment to peace and security, using information and communication technology (ICT) as tools for empowering women is deeply rooted.  With her help, women have been able to monitor and respond to peace, human security and development trends.  She founded Fiji and the Pacific’s first women-led community radio network FemTALK 89.2FM and assisted in the development and launch of the first women-led community radio station in Tonga, the Polynesian Sovereign State. (98FM).  In April 2000, as the Secretary of the National Council of Women Fiji she coordinated the Blue Ribbon Peace Vigil and the Women’s Action for Democracy and Peace (WAD’aP) when her country, Fiji faced its second political coup. Using suitcase radio technology the community media network is contributing to enhancing the cause of the women’s movement in Fiji and Tonga and providing a practical model to demonstrate the potential of women as radio producers and operators.

She is the gender liaison and a member of the board of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict as well as a board member of the Global Fund for Women. She is the sole Pacific representative of UN Women’s Global Civil Society Advisory Group.

About the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY

The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY (NGO/CSW/NY) is one of three women’s committees of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CoNGO). Under CoNGO’s umbrella, the NGO/CSW committees helped plan the NGO Forums at the UN World conferences in Mexico, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing. The NGO/CSW/NY is a volunteer-based, non-profit NGO funded largely by individual contributions.

Remarks from 2014 Women of Distinction Award Winner, Sharon Bhagwa Rolls