SPC calls for public to join in Pacific gender equality dialogue

mAY 20, 2015. Noumea, New Caledonia ? The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is renewing its call for public participation in an online dialogue about gender equality in the Pacific, as the latest fortnightly discussion begins on the theme of mechanisms for the advancement of women.

The six-month dialogue, called the ?Beijing Platform for Action and Me!?, began in February and runs until 20 July.

SPC has introduced the discussion to raise awareness of the 12 areas of the Beijing Platform for Action, with an interesting finding from the Beijing+20 Pacific regional report used to prompt a discussion thread each fortnight on new developments, important gaps and emerging issues.

?The value of this discussion is that it helps us understand how international commitments, such as the Beijing Platform for Action, have implications for the daily lives of Pacific people,? the Deputy Director of SPC?s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara, said.

?We?re capturing the main points and will be sharing them during the post-2015 development agenda talks at the United Nations Special Summit on Sustainable Development in New York in September 2015, making sure the Pacific perspectives are heard,? Ms Toelupe Tago-Elisara said.

The dialogue has received high-level support, including video messages from the heads of regional agencies, namely the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor; the Director of the University of the South Pacific, Dr Radesh Chandra; the Director-General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick; and SPC?s Director of Public Health, Dr Paula Vivili.

This month the dialogue has benefitted from video messages recorded by Australia?s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, and the Speaker of Parliament of the Cook Islands, Nikki Rattle, alongside insights from experts and practitioners around the region who are part of the Pacific Women Information Network (Pacwin).

The remaining topics are: Human Rights of Women, on 1 June; Women in the Media, on 15 June; Women and the Environment, on 6 July, and the Girl Child, on 20 July.

?We?ve just passed the half-way point so we?re calling for anyone interested in having a say on gender equality in the Pacific to use this opportunity in the coming weeks to share their organisation?s perspective or their own views, questions and hopes,? Ms Toelupe Tago-Elisara said.

Contributions are welcome in many forms, including video messages, visual materials and personal testimonies, she said.

To contribute, enroll in the Pacwin network by contacting Mereoni Tavakaturaga-Robinson in SPC?s Social Development Division, at mereonir@spc.int, or simply post a comment or video message on the Pacwin Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/Pacificwomeninformationnetwork?fref=ts.

The videos are available on SPC?s YouTube site: www.youtube.com/user/spcnc1.

SPC