“Our stories need to be told. Policy makers need to be aware of how activities impacting on the environment are affecting our livelihoods. They need to take a holistic view at society to see how policies are actually impacting every single member of society, and as professionals in this field, we need to look at how we can help them,” says Klouldil from Palau.
Klouldil is one of the Pacific women who features in a new documentary film produced by FemLINKPACIFIC in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC). The documentary gives a voice to Pacific women from Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu on their views on sustainable development and what they consider important for improved quality of life and sustainable wellbeing.
"Sisters of the Pacific Ocean – Rising through the Waves” is narrated by Lucille Chute, a young woman media activist based in FemLINKPACIFIC’s rural community media centre in Labasa, Fiji. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Government-funded Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Programme, the film communicates Pacific women’s perspectives of sustainable development and human security and what they need to thrive in our Pacific Island countries and territories.
“The objective of the film is to provide another platform that gives a voice to Pacific women, reflecting their priorities in terms of sustainable development. It aims to inform decision-making at the regional and global levels, towards developing effective strategies and adopting concrete measures that will benefit all,” says the Deputy-Director of SPC’s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara.
Ms Tago-Elisara adds that the media initiatives reflect the September 2015 high-level commitments by global leaders, which included commitments by three Pacific heads of state (from Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Samoa), focused on the elimination of violence against women, enhancing political participation, the involvement of young women, and linkages to environment security, including climate change.
Earlier, in his statement for International Women’s Day 2016, the Pacific Community’s Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga had called for “...greater debate on ways of closing gender gaps in the Pacific and concrete ways of addressing them because, despite critical advances, Pacific women and girls are still faced with cultural, social, economic and institutional barriers to developing their full potential, according to a progress report on implementing the Beijing Platform for Action released by SPC in 2015.
“The participation of Pacific Governments and women’s civil society representatives at the 60th session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) serves not only to highlight the persistent barriers to gender equality, but it also communicates and guides the way in which the indicators of meeting the SDGs/Agenda 2030 global goals can be truly transformative for Pacific women. After all, when women benefit, her entire community benefits,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
The video can be previewed here, with the full feature to be launched later in the year.
Brigitte Leduc, Gender Equality Adviser, [email protected]