The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement strongly objects the attempt made by Fiji Airways to trade the traditional kesakesa design.
According to reports Fiji Airways is moving to trademark 15 motifs which are part of the Fijian culture and have always been available to people and communities.
“FWRM is against any attempts to commercially trademark cultural designs. This move by Fiji Airways directly contravenes national, regional and international norms and standards on protection of societal intellectual property and public good. It is also in direct violation of various articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially Article 31,” said Executive Director Virisila Buadromo.
“This is also a contravention of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women [CEDAW], as women in Fiji are still the primary producers of such masi designs, and therefore various economic, social and cultural rights of women would be directly and indirectly affected by such an illegal and unethical trademark system”.
While the Movement believes that the use of the traditional designs and the extensive promotion the logo designer received at the launch of the Fiji Airways new look was commendable, this latest action clearly shows how Fiji Airways wants to possess and control culture.
“We strongly urge Fiji Airways to withdraw their application, and urge the Administrator of Trademarks to dismiss their application if it is not withdrawn,” said Buadromo.
“We also urge relevant authorities to create public awareness on this issue which will dissuade other entities from attempting to corporatize public and cultural designs”.
FWRM will be joining the many concerned individuals and organisations in writing a letter to the Administrator of Trademarks.
For information or queries please contact FWRM on 331 2711 / 8677330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org