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Vuniwaqa Tells Of Resilience Of Pacific Rural Women To Climate Change

Vuniwaqa Tells Of Resilience Of Pacific Rural Women To Climate Change
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa (second from right), with other delegates at the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Photo: DEPTFO News
March 16
11:00 2018

On the second day of the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, government leaders gathered for a side event to discuss rural women in the Small Islands Developing States.

The discussions focused on explor­ing strategic approaches to counter the structural and socio-economic disparities and multiple intersect­ing forms of discrimination that af­fected women and girls, including those with disabilities, particularly in the context of climate change.

This was organised and co-hosted by the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Kingdom of Belgium and the Pacific commu­nity.

Our Minister for Women, Mer­eseini Vuniwaqa, was joined by the President of Marshal Islands, Hilda Heine, at the side event as panellists along with Ambassador Ali Naseer Mohamed from the Re­public of the Maldives, and Feki­tamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Is­land Developing States.

These strong women leaders and Ambassador Ali shared their expe­riences on the impacts of climate change and issues faced back home by rural women post – disasters.

Ms Heine said in the Marshall Is­lands, the main source of income for the women was handicraft production from their natural re­sources, which had depleted as a re­sult of climate change and nuclear weapons testing from decades ago.

Ms Vuniwaqa, in her statement, outlined the pressing needs of ru­ral women and others affected by post TC Winston and how the Fijian Government responded with pro­grammes aimed at alleviating the immediate need for finance, safe shelter and food security among other things.

She talked about the safety and protection cluster post disaster and how this led to the production of assessment reports identifying unique challenges faced by women in post disaster and the formula­tion of gender responsive strate­gies for natural disasters.

She also stressed the need to have detailed and sex- desegregated data to better inform DRM (disaster risk management) strategies.

The event was then closed by a representative from the Kingdom of Belgium, who strongly believed that women’s obligation to carry out chores minimised the ability for self-development and there was a risk of migration of women due to climate change impacts.

Ms Vuniwaqa then attended the International Parliamentary Un­ion event soon after and spoke on the theme “Mitigating the impact of climate change on rural women and girls” particularly focusing on the role of parliament and parlia­mentarians in inculcating gender in national climate change dis­course.

Source: DEPTFO News


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