Monday, July 25, 2011

[pima.nius] Pacific women meet to pursue gender equality

1:58 PM |

Pacific women meet to pursue gender equality

Updated July 25, 2011 09:19:35

Climate change initiatives need to be translated into local dialects according to delegates at a ministerial meeting in Fiji last week.

Dame Carol Kidu made the comments at the fourth regional ministerial meeting which focused on promoting gender and women's human rights issues.

The ministers represented women's portfolios and recognised that some Pacific Nations still do not have departments for women's affairs.


Presenter: Geraldine Coutts
Speaker: Linda Petersen, Manager for Human development with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community

PETERSEN: I guess with developments in the region taking place in a number of areas; regional security issues, information, communication technology, energy, climate change, food security, these are the kind of, the Forum Economic ministers for example they meet annually and they're actually meeting in Samoa this week. What we've recognised for a long time that despite all of these sort of high level meetings, issues of gender equality and the participation of women in these sectors is really not getting on those agendas. And in fact yesterday the Minister for Women from Samoa, who's actually the Deputy Speaker, recommended that in the future maybe they need to include ministerial representatives or have these kind of meetings alongside some of these meetings, such as the Forum Economic Ministers meeting.

COUTTS: Well who are you delivering these messages to, to get women onto participation lists at much higher levels?

PETERSEN: To the ministers first of all, to ministers from other centres. In fact this meeting is quite interesting because we've got a leader here, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, we've three or four ministers from other sectors and recognising to give you an example, the links between health and gender based violence, that's something that was discussed. So we need to be having discussions with health ministers around these issues.

COUTTS: Also women think about issues in a more holistic way, I'm thinking that they'd be a call for simple language and local languages the translation, climate change information for instance?

PETERSEN: Yes, yes, a lot of information, but I must say well received and appreciated around the table and definitely one of the issues that came out in the afternoon discussions was the need to translate this into the language of the local languages, and also be able to translate the issues to community level situations. And more than that, recognising that it's the communities and the traditional knowledge and experiences of communities which need to be discussed and brought to the table alongside that sort of scientific and technical discussions on climate change.

COUTTS: Is there a particular gender perspective on climate change that needs to be integrated into the whole picture?

PETERSEN: Well I think the main issues were one, women are really absent from a lot of the decision making processes in climate change, and there was a lot of discussion about that, right from the community level, right up to the level of international negotiations. And there was a strong recognition that this needed to be different, and we needed to see women present at all levels of decision making and discussions around climate change. Excellent stories and presentations about women's local knowledge and how this relates to climate change from the Marshall Islands, from the Solomon Islands, from Fiji, there were stories told about the role of women in communities and their traditional knowledge, and how this is so critical to dealing with the changes that are going to be�

COUTTS: Can you elaborate on that, can you explain to that?

PETERSEN: The preservation of food in the islands, this is the Solomon Islands, and they talked about how it's not just women, but it's both men and women working together to preserve manioc and the methods that are used and how that traditional sort of knowledge and way and method of preserving food is there to be critical for food security in times of not just climate change but they were talking about this from the perspective of disaster response and emergency situation. The one from the Marshall Islands was to do with women knowing where special water catchments were. From Fiji there were stories about discussing sort of the impacts of, surveys have been done in some village communities and how the coastline and water resources and catchments had changed over the years, and so the sort of movement of places to fish and how it's often the older women in the community who have this knowledge. In all of that sort of discussion there was this sort of reinforcing the idea that we really need to document, to capture and to integrate local knowledge into all the discussions around climate change adaptation, but also documenting that in local languages.


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pacific islands media association
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aotearoa, new zealand
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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information. Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications.
 
DISCLAIMER: These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them.
 
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