Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a second-generation Fijian women’s rights advocate working at the intersection of gender equality and media. Following a successful high-profile career as a radio and television producer and presenter in Fiji, she helped establish femLINKpacific in 2000 as a regional women-led media organisation that advocates for Pacific women as decision makers in the long-term transformation of their respective island countries. In 2004 femLINK launched Fiji and the Pacific’s first women-led community radio station, which has enabled a core group of diverse producers to develop and distribute content on women’s issues through a range of media platforms. Today the FemTALK 89FM network broadcasts more than 800 hours a month of radio programming dedicated to gender equality, human security and peace via a 24-hour radio station in Suva and since 2012 the only radio station based on Fiji’s 2nd main island of Vanua Levu.
Sharon is passionate about women leading innovation in media and information and communication technologies (ICT), which has meant tackling the current ICT policy environment in the Pacific to make this sector more accessible for women. Following Cyclone Mick in 2009, femLINK launched the Women’s Weather Watch, an innovative information communication system that monitors approaching storms and disaster management in communities, provides real-time information with a local touch, and advocates for the involvement and consultation of women before, during, and after disasters.
She continues to vigorously lobby inter-governmental forums on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security). She has been an adviser to the UN successive reviews of UNSCR1325 (2010, 2015) as well as a key contributor to the development and adoption of the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012-2015).
She was included in the 1000Peacewomen for the Nobel Peace Prize (2005) and was the recipient of the 2014 Women of Distinction Award from the NGO-Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) New York.
She is also the chairperson of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) as well as a member of the Asia Pacific regional board of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).