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Kiribati Vice President supports gender equality acceleration

Kiribati Vice President supports gender equality acceleration
Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa
October 07
11:00 2017


Kiribati’s Vice President Kourabi Nenem has put his weight behind the Pacific Ministers for Women plan to accelerate action for gender equality.

He was among a number of vocal male Heads of Pacific Delegation’s speaking out at the Pacific Women’s Ministers meeting taking place this week at the Novotel, Lami.

“The Kiribati government strongly supports the focus on empowering women as it makes good economic sense,” Mr Nenem told the opening session of the ministers’ meeting.

“It strengthens economic development, fosters economic growth and nation building,” he said.

Mr Nenem outlined numerous innovative programmes being implemented in his country, including many that include initiatives to reinvigorate traditional culture, handicrafts and cuisine as well as enhancing women’s empowerment.

Mr Nenem told his counterparts that in Kiribati more than half of new businesses were run by women.

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine told the meeting there was no question that women’s place in our economies was seriously undervalued and that this contributed to the continuation of the discrimination of women.

The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

During the panel discussion, Dr Heine highlighted the Pacific Ministers have a role to remove the cultural, economic and political barriers to progress gender equality.

“Women’s economic empowerment is the key to addressing this gender inequality. Participation in decision making and influence, equal opportunity, sharing of care responsibilities, and work for equal pay are some of the efforts that must be improved upon to ensure women enjoy the fundamental human rights,” President Heine said.

“Barriers must be addressed and this meeting provides the opportunity to continue with an on-going effort in pursuing and achieving gender equality.”

Kiribati’s Vice President appealed to Pacific Governments not to ignore the important work that needed to be done to address harmful stereotypes of women and for women achieving equal opportunities to men.

Mr Nenem joined other speakers such as President Heine in speaking out in favour of temporary special measures or affirmative action to enable women to overcome the hurdles of political participation.

The meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women and the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women ended yesterday.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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