Pay our nurses, says Fiji Women’s Rights Movement

Nurse Ali Tasmin (Photo: WHO)

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) has called on Fiji’s Government to place more emphasis on the appropriate allowances and pay for nurses and midwives.

For several years, nurses and midwives in Fiji have been working without a pay increase and in turn many are leaving the profession, the Fiji Nursing Association states.

Due to the shortage of nurses and midwives, it is reported remaining nurses are working more hours than their official shifts. 

FWRM Executive Director, Nalini Singh said: “There is still a lack of effort from the authorities to ensure that these undervalued workers are allocated allowances and paid what they deserve. It is also a profession that is predominantly made up of women and thus we are calling on the government to urgently address this issue of unequal allowances for nurses and midwives.”

In 2022, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) highlighted two reports on pay and gender, that concluded that nurses, who are predominantly female, are underpaid for their services, earning on average 24% less than men. 

FWRM says this historical ongoing issue of pay borders on the patriarchal attitudes of women at work as nursing is deemed as “women’s work” and a feminised profession. 

“It is only right to give them what they deserve in acknowledgement of the services they provide, as it is in many other areas of employment,” Singh said.