THE media plays an important role in transforming societal attitudes and sparking mind-set change on attitudes towards sexual orientation, says the Rainbow Pride Foundation.
This was one of the main issues raised by the foundation through an open letter released to all political parties and independent candidates this week.
"We call on media and political leaders to commit to the principle of free media, with a strong emphasis on human rights, social justice, balanced reporting and responsible journalism," the letter said.
"We also call on the State to protect the rights of individuals to freedom of speech, both online and in print and lift all forms of restrictions that prevent anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, to freely express their opinions with respect to the rights and reputations of others and discuss issues related to gender, sexuality and bodily autonomy."
The foundation also said educational institutions and social groups in Fiji were powerful social and cultural institutions in constructing gender identity.
"Formal and informal curriculums employed in schools shape children's understandings about gender and the performance of gendered identity."