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SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION (SCE) PROGRAMMES IN SCHOOLS

SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION (SCE) PROGRAMMES IN SCHOOLS

International Day of Families

English

International Day of Families(link is external) on 15 May is an opportunity to examine how policies and programmes can be responsive to the diversity of families. This is vital for the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 5 for gender equality.

The Pacific Community (SPC) through the Pacific Women Lead programme will be looking at how to support partners to apply family-based approaches, particularly in the area of advancing gender equality in the region.

Some examples of family-based approaches from the region are reflected in two of the three Pacific Practice Notes produced as part of the transition to the Pacific Women Lead programme; “Gender Transformation in Practice” and “From Participation to Power: Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Pacific”.

These products share development practices contributing to gender transformative change in Papua New Guinea and the region. It includes approaches for promoting gender equality at individual, family, and community, and societal levels.

Projects like Family Farm Teams in Papua New Guinea have encouraged the reflection on gendered division of labour in households and helps families envision more equitable ways of dividing labour, decision making and income between women and men.

Other projects have engaged men meaningfully in gender transformation by adopting multiple strategies of examining social norms. In some cases, this is through modelling behaviours like sharing leadership roles and women and men working together.

Read the two practice notes on Pacific Data Hub:

-Pacific Practice Note: Opening Doors for Lasting Change – Gender Transformation in Practice - Dataset - Pacific Data Hub(link is external)

-Pacific Practice Note: From Participation to Power - Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) in the Pacific - Dataset - Pacific Data Hub(link is external)

 

Background

Pacific Women Lead is at the centre of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) work for gender equality. It serves as secretariat to the PWL Governance Board and provides technical, convening and funding support to member government ministries, the civil society sector and other partners.

Located within SPC’s Human Rights and Social Development division, the Pacific Women Lead partnership with the Australian Government commits more than AUD 50 million over five years to promote women’s leadership and women’s rights, and to increase the effectiveness of regional gender equality efforts.

Pacific Women Lead continues to build on the almost 10-year long-term Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) programme, Pacific Women Lead is one of the largest single funding commitments to gender equality globally.

SPC provides technical support PNG to establish their Human Rights Commission

Submitted by onorinas on Tue, 26/04/2022 - 16:47
English

The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development Division (HRSD) team visited PNG last week to provide technical support to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Department for Justice & the Attorney General (DJAG) and the Department for Community Development and Religion (DFCDR) to assist in the establishment of a PNG Human Rights Commission (HRC).

A week-long workshop brought key stakeholders together, including Deputy Directors from DJAG and DFCDR, representatives from the Law Reform Commission and Ombudsman’s Office and SPC partner organisations the Asia Pacific Forum for NHRIs and OHCHR. A roadmap for establishment of the PNG HRC was developed through the week and several key working relationships, which will drive the initiative forwards, were agreed.

The outcomes reflected a renewed commitment towards the establishment of a Human Rights Commission in PNG, which would be a major achievement for the government, not least in realising SDG goal 16 and would also address several recommendations recently received from the United Nations Human Rights Council as part of its Universal Periodic Review.

HRSD Director, Miles Young, remarked “the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution is essential for all Pacific Island Countries, and we congratulate PNG in taking these steps towards realisation that goal.”

HRSD’s participation was welcomed by the PNG participants with one Deputy Director remarking that this international support would ‘build momentum and lend credibility’ around the establishment efforts. It also represented SPC’s efforts to engage more substantively with PNG and support large scale human rights initiatives and other development activities. The workshop was therefore also an opportunity for the team to discuss SPC’s new strategic plan with senior officials to explore additional future opportunities for technical assistance.

The request for technical assistance on the PNG HRC establishment resulted from consultations carried out under SPC’s PROJECT Governance – a USAID funded 5-year programme which seeks to build sound, just and responsive governance across the Pacific. HRSD’s participation was therefore made possible by the generous support of the American people through

#PROJECTGovernance #PacificGovernance #PNG #PacificPeoples

Country List

Republic of the Marshall Islands hosts its Ainikien Kora Forum (National Women’s Forum)

Submitted by JBerrell on Mon, 28/03/2022 - 11:54

More than 150 nominated participants representing RMI’s 24 atolls and islands came together in Majuro for the Ainikien Kora Forum (National Women's Forum).

The event was the largest national government-led gathering focused on gender equality, driven by the significant need for women and men to work equally together to ensure the nation’s sustainable development in its response and recovery from the global pandemic. 

New Disability Law for Kosrae State to enhance Protection of Persons with Disabilities

Submitted by onorinas on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 15:38
Publish Published
2022
English

Kosrae State Legislature enacts Bill 191 – Protecting persons with disabilities

For many nights, sleep eluded Isao Mike from Kosrae State in the Federated States of Micronesia. Racked with great concern for his child living with a disability, Mike constantly worried about his son’s future, particularly in the event he and his wife were no longer living or able to care for him.

He would frequently say to himself, “As a parent, I have no peace. If something ever happens to me or my wife, who will take care of my son? Who will make sure he is cared for?”

But on the back of this worry and countless nights of elusive sleep was born a determination to take action. Action that would secure his son’s future, and that of other children and people living with disability in Kosrae.

When the Kosrae Disability Act (Bill 191) was passed on 3 December 2021 by the State Legislature of Kosrae, it was victory for Mike and many parents in Kosrae raising and caring for children with disabilities. It was a win for Kosrae.

Bill 191 is a significant step forward for FSM and the Kosrae State Legislature. It sends a clear signal about the country’s determination to follow the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) which the 19th Congress of the FSM ratified on 7 October 2016.

International human rights conventions are an effective way of holding states accountable and serves as a guide for national legislation to safeguard marginalised groups in our societies. While many countries in the Pacific have ratified CRPD and, over time, have passed laws to comply with international human rights treaties, others such as FSM have only recently taken positive legislative action to protect and support persons with disabilities.

For Mike, the urgency to act came in the wake of an attack on his son.

“For me ultimately, the motivation to do something, to have a law in place to protect my son and others living with disabilities, came about when my son was hit on the head by someone, and despite the court hearing, the perpetrator only got two months outside of jail,” he said.

“This was an eye opener for me, as a parent. I realised that simply educating people to respect persons with disabilities was not enough. We needed better protective measures for people with disabilities.”

Despite the existing resolution supporting the CRPD ratification, Mike said it did not come with a law for Kosrae State, and people living with disabilities continued to experience high rates of sexual and physical violence, inaccessible health and social services and inequality. 

“Two years ago, we revisited our legislature and realised that we don't have a specific law that provides for persons with disabilities. While the government has some laws in place which protect us all, nothing specific was available to support and protect persons with disabilities,” Mike said.

As part of the Kosrae Special Parent Network (KSPN), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the Kosrae Department of Education, Mike and other parents drafted a Bill titled the Kosrae Disability Act. They submitted it to the 12th Kosrae State Legislature and lobbied the State through awareness and advocacy to pass the Bill. These were key steps to ensuring the enactment of Bill 191.

The Pacific People Advancing Change (PPAC) programme of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) division and aims to build advocacy capacity among Pacific Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) engaged with human rights issues, while also advancing those issues by supporting specific campaigns.

KSPN is one of the PPAC grantees supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the “Promoting Just, Engaged, Civic-minded and Transparent (PROJECT) Governance”. Through the PROJECT Governance grant program, KSPN managed to advocate, raise-awareness and lobby the State to pass Bill 191. This speaks volumes of the initial success of PROJECT Governance and its support to the Pacific.  PROJECT Governance is a USD 19.8 million five-year partnership between SPC, the Blue Pacific Alliance partners (International Federation of Electoral Systems, East-West Centre and Care USA) and the United States Government through USAID.

Mike said Bill 191 promotes equal opportunities and respect for all persons with disabilities by ensuring accessible reserved parking spaces, building facilities, inclusive education, employment and social services in both public and privately-owned or controlled areas accessible to the public. 

Berla Nena, a parent raising two children living with disabilities in Kosrae, said the passing of the Bill was a step in the right direction. She and her family moved to Kosrae from the United States.

“In the US, all services were provided to my children from birth. But when we moved to Kosrae, things became difficult for us because there were just not enough services for persons with disabilities here,” she said. “With this law in place, this means they have a better future.”

Among the significant change to the Kosrae Disability Act was that now the State of Kosrae was under obligation to provide services to persons with disabilities of all ages.

Power of Legislation in improving lives of vulnerable groups

Too often, we overlook the power or value of legislation in maintaining order in our countries and communities. What would life be like if we did not have existing rules and laws maintaining peace in our societies?

Be it related to health, social security, housing, education, environment, commercial/trade/business issues or protection, some of us may have taken for granted laws and legislations that directly impact our daily way of life. Legislation provides government a legal mandate to utilise available resources to offer services that will promote, protect and fulfil the constitutional rights of its citizens.

And there is no exception when it comes to people living with disabilities who equally deserve laws that protect their interests and rights, including fundamental human rights like freedom, respect, equality and dignity. Like every citizen, people living with disabilities also have the right to live to their full potential and to live free from abuse or neglect.

Speaker of Kosrae State Legislature, Honourable Tulensa Palik, believes the passing of Bill 191 was long overdue.

“I believe having laws in place, specifically for persons with disabilities will definitely enhance their ability to participate in community life and society as a whole and thus improve the quality of their life,” Hon. Palik said.

“I wanted to highlight that this is something we have to do. When our country ratified the CRPD then it became incumbent upon us to make an appropriate legislation that complements the convention,” he said.  

He said the government recognised that there are a lot of persons living with disabilities in the community and in Kosrae State alone, there were approximately 600 people living with some form of disability. “We cannot just leave them behind,” he said.

“People with disabilities make up a sizeable portion of our community. Development is for everyone and we cannot leave them behind. It is timely that our country ratified CRPD and we as government must do our part,” Hon. Palik said.

“I think what we did is the easiest part of it. Now we are trying to enter the implementation phase of the law, of the Bill. What we will now try to do is get the public behind what we just enacted into law, otherwise it would not make any difference to what we did so it is important that we go out to the public and explain to them why we enacted this law,” he said.

Senator Andy Andrews, author of Bill 191, highlighted that the implementation of the Bill would commence with a focus on providing comprehensive education programmes and services for infants, toddlers and children with disabilities. He said they were also looking to amend some existing State laws such as provision of legal services and medical services at the hospitals.

 

Strengthened Partnership between Government and CSO

Through the support provided by PPAC, KSPN was able to strengthen advocacy and awareness efforts to lobby the members of the 12th Kosrae State Legislature.

KSPN set the wheels in motion for the passage of this Bill by initiating discussions with relevant stakeholders through its membership of the Kosrae Inter-Agency Committee. Other important stakeholders included the Kosrae Special Education Office, Kosrae Social Security Office, Kosrae College of Micronesia, Department of Health, Department of Education, and the Kosrae Women Association.

Hon. Palik shared that whenever a Bill comes up for passage, public awareness, consultation and information gathering was a crucial part of the process.  

“We have already gone through that process; we have already had public hearings at the legislature, but we have yet to go out to the communities to make them aware of this Bill,” he said.

As a result of these interventions by KSPN and other stakeholders, the Bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Carson Sigrah in December last year.

KSPN is currently finalising a documentary on the processes of advocating for the passage of the Bill and is now raising awareness and lobbying for its full implementation.

Hon. Palik has pledged the State’s commitment towards the implementation of the Bill.

“We have set a timeline of three months with the Director of Health Services for the implementation of this Bill,” he said.

The process that led to the enactment of Bill 191 is a model and shows how CSOs and governments can work together for the greater good of the community.

For Mike Isao, the engagement process with the State has resulted in sustainable partnerships on the ground. “We have now been offered an office space by the Department of Education to assist us in our day-to-day operations,” he said.

“We have also seen a change in people’s attitudes after the Bill was signed into law. We see a lot of changes in terms of creating disability-friendly surroundings. Members of the legislature are now taking a keen interest in the Bill itself and it gives me confidence that our leaders are talking about it and willing to see through their commitments towards implementation,” he said.

For Mike, having the legislation and law in place is enough for now. It has given him peace of mind.

“Now that there is a Bill in place, I am at peace knowing my son will be well taken care of if anything happens to me or my wife. The Bill does not only benefit my son, but it also benefits me, my wife and our entire family.”

“I know that the bill will create the necessary measures and laws to protect persons with disabilities and I am looking forward to the positive changes this bill will bring about,” he said.

 

Removing barriers for fuller participation in society by persons with disabilities

To date, 13 of the 16 Pacific Island Forum Countries have ratified CRPD. Of concern however is the low domestic resource allocation for the inclusion of persons with disabilities which is below 0.15% of the GDP for most countries, and a stronger reliance on donor funding to invest in developing the required disability specific and disability inclusive services. Persons with disabilities in the Pacific face entrenched cultural and physical barriers to full participation along with exclusion from communities, education and workplaces.[1]

Furthermore, many countries have not yet adopted a whole-of-government approach to inclusion. Most countries do not yet have adequate support services and regulations to create a barrier free environment.

However, Bill 191 demonstrates that the political will of the governments and advocacy efforts by CSOs can bring about positive benefits for the marginalised in our communities.

Hon. Palik said that legislations such as this is intended to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities so that they can participate in their societies and positively contribute as full members of the community.

PROJECT Governance is focussed on achieving sound, just and responsive governance to foster the participation and inclusion of all persons in social, economic, political and cultural life. Bill 191 is a shining example of how governance can create enabling environments for all people in their diversities.

The success of Bill 191 is not one-off and other FSM States, such as Chuuk, are following Kosrae’s lead in creating an enabling environment for persons with disabilities which has recently also passed their Disability Act. These concrete actions by FSM States are opening doors for other countries in the region to ensure international treaty body commitments are incorporated into national laws and policies to practically benefit those it was intended to serve.

 

[1] Human Rights in the Pacific – A situational analysis 2020 – page 22 (accessed 16 February 2022). Available at: https://www.spc.int/resource-centre/publications/the-pacific-human-rights-situational-analysis-report-2020

Country List

Open Data and Good Governance

Submitted by onorinas on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 15:08
Publish Published
2022
English

Open Data: What does it mean for our Blue Pacific?

The world was in its grip. And it wasn’t long before the COVID-19 pandemic brought countries all over the globe to a crippling halt. Almost immediately, a new way of life emerged as people everywhere turned to the online and internet world to stay informed and updated during the crisis. From work and school to funeral gatherings and shopping for basic needs, the new normal was at our fingertips.

While the pandemic has changed many of our world views including how we work and the way we respond to emergencies, it has also greatly emphasised the importance and value of quality open data, and the need for robust data systems.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people relied heavily on information supplied by governments by way of updates on traditional media and social media channels - a clear demonstration of how open data can ensure a strategic and effective way of responding to disasters. 

So, what is open data and why should we care? It is valuable information and content that is free and easily accessible to anyone, without limitations or restrictions. Data is open if anyone is free to use, re-use or redistribute it, subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness (World Bank[1]). Quality open data allows us as citizens to be informed and to be able to monitor government activities while holding our governments accountable.

Open data and good governance

Good governance is an approach that is committed to creating a system founded in justice and peace that protects an individual’s human rights and civil liberties. It is the process of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources while allowing for monitoring, and guarantees respect for human rights with due regard to the rule of law.

When it comes to good governance, quality open data is critical and can lead to more effective and efficient governments. It is also critical for credible institutional and political processes and the delivery of outcomes necessary to achieve sustainable development.

Good governance has eight characteristics - participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law[2]. These characteristics have guided governments and organisations good governance practices. Quality open data underpins each of these. For instance, integrity in government transactions can only be achieved through transparency and accountability, and the latter will only be realised if citizens and organisations have access to quality government data and information.

Open data brings wide-ranging benefits to governments and many different groups of people, organisations and individuals. It keeps duty bearers or governments alert and responsive to society and responsible for their actions. Similarly, it empowers rights holders or citizens to know what their government is doing and hold them to account. It further empowers citizens to be directly informed and involved in decision-making processes of governance, both in public and political spaces. It allows opportunities for collaboration and helps establish trust and credible relationships between government, organisations, private sector and citizens during emergency situations and the development process.

Notably, in the Pacific, as a good start some governments have developed ministerial websites and information systems that people can access to get information on the government’s activities, budget and policy implementation, including online public services. Samoa’s database – SADATA - on development and human rights recommendations tracking is a relatively successful open data mechanism currently being implemented in the region and globally. These, however, must be well resourced and managed to ensure their reliability and accuracy. Moreover, users – citizens – should be educated on how to read and use open data to make informed decisions and demand responsive governance.

The pandemic and unprecedented weather events have underscored the need for access to quality open data more than ever. It provides an impetus to effective collaboration between all sectors of society to ensure inclusive effective emergency response and to address the wide-reaching effects of the pandemic. These partnerships and inclusive participatory approach build trust during such critical moments and steer concerted efforts to make our societies resilient and build back civil liberty.

Without quality open government data, there is a lack of engagement and collaboration between government and the public, transparency and accountability would be lacklustre, citizens would not be able to carry out public oversight of government conduct, processes and transactions, delivery of public services and corruption prevention.

Promoting good governance is a central priority for Pacific leaders and peoples. These commitments were entrenched in the Biketawa Declaration over 20 years ago, and recently reinforced in the Boe Declaration to allow free, healthy and productive lives for all Pacific people. Despite these commitments, the dearth of data and open data challenges in the Pacific - compounded by the nature of its people, values, culture, faith, politics, geography, resources and history - present a unique governance development challenge. It inhibits the ability of PICs to adequately develop evidence-based policies and implement targeted measures to implement better standards of governance and adhere to rights-based approaches. Hence, this reinforces the call for and underscores the importance of quality open government data as a critical tool for good governance in the Pacific.

Political buy-in and political will are critical for open government data to materialise. Having legal instruments is equally vital and their due enforcement requires resolute action to ensure the benefits of open data materialise. In the Pacific, several countries have enacted laws on the Right to Information or Information Act or formulated relevant policy viz Cook Islands, Palau, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga while the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia are work in progress.

A critical gap that continues to undermine efforts to implement sound governance is the limited availability of key data on governance and human rights[3]. Responsive governance exists when government institutions and policies are accessible, accountable and responsive to the people they serve, especially the disadvantaged groups. Sound public governance consists of the formal and informal rules, procedures, practices and interactions within the State, and between the State, non-state institutions and citizens, that frame the exercise of public authority and decision-making in the public interest (OECD).

To build on and complement the work of good governance in the Pacific, the launch of the “Promoting Just, Engaged, Civic-Minded and Transparent (PROJECT) Governance program came at a timely moment for the region, with an overarching goal of achieving a stronger Blue Pacific through the sustainable practice of sound, just and responsive governance. PROJECT Governance is a five-year US Government-funded program administered by its development arm USAID in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC).

The key outcome areas inter alia comprise increasing public sector transparency and accountability through access to government data and networks and strengthening governments’ capacities to prevent corruption and promote integrity within the governance structures. In keeping with the principles of a People-Centred Approach, the project will be implemented with a deep cultural understanding of the region.

SPC, in partnership with USAID, is committed to help Pacific leaders realise their commitments in achieving good governance and sustainable development through PROJECT Governance over the next five years and beyond.

[3] The PDH dashboard re SDG 16 notes that the majority of indicators are not included as part of the 132 indicators in the Pacific SDG indicator subset - https://pacificdata.org/content/sdg-16-peace-justice-and-strong-institutions.

Country List

#IWD2022 CANDIDA IS ON A MISSION TO CHANGE HERSELF AND HER COMMUNITY

Publish Published
2022
English

To celebrate women in the Pacific we're sharing a series of Herstories of women and women's movements who have collectively struggled, lobbied, stood in solidarity and supported each other and survivors of violence against women, and triumphed. This is a story of Candida Kaious a woman leader who is the Project Coordinator of Weto in Mour at the Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).  

Candida Kaious is Weto in Mour’s (WiM) Program Coordinator. She joined the service, which provides counselling and support to survivors of violence against women and girls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in 2016.

Candida fell into the work by chance, having recently graduated from Marshall Islands College after three years spent teaching primary school . She had gone back to college in the hopes of securing a better paying job to support her young family. Candida initially joined WiM in a part-time role but quickly became passionate about her job – even turning down a better-paying government role as a data entry clerk.

“The more I learned about gender-based violence and gender inequality, and how our culture and beliefs are linked to violence, I then realised there needs to be change. I also realised that I need to change and that I want to give back to the community,” she said.

“That’s what made me stick with this work. Since then, I have changed how I think about gender differences, such as how people think they should behave and dress. It was not easy but I have tried hard have made a breakthrough.”

Candida joined WiM along with four other women, all in their thirties, and together they helped launch the country’s very first counselling service for survivors of violence against women and girls with funding and technical support from the Australian Government. This support continues through Pacific Women Lead, and formerly through Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women).

None of the women had prior knowledge about gender-based violence and the law so there was a steep learning curve. Besides learning on the job, they have benefited from working alongside Marshall Islands women’s rights pioneers like Daisy Alik Momotaro and Marie Maddison at WiM’s parent organisation Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).

Candida says there are  number of challenges in WiM’s work including the widely held belief that their work was somehow anti-culture, anti-religion and anti-men - stereotypes they continue to work hard to overcome. 

“When the program was new, people were saying that we were going was against our men, that we are trying to destroy our culture and customs. That what we were doing went against the bible. Through training, we’ve learned to provide appropriate culture-based responses.”

She and her fellow caseworkers employ Marshallese sayings that translate to ‘mothers as caretakers’ and ‘men’s need to protect mothers’ alongside contemporary readings of the bible to make the case for greater equality between women and men.

Candida has taken the time to talk about gender with her father, a pastor, and her husband who previously had traditional ideas about men and women’s roles. Today, they’re both proud and supportive of her work.

By leading a team of women her own age, she has acquired leadership skills.

“I’ve learned to be supportive and lead through example,’ she said.

“And not to think we can do everything ourselves. We need others to get things done.”

To young women leaders doing similar work in the region, she says it is worth sticking it out.

‘This work takes a lot of time and learning but don’t give up. Just seeing these women being empowered and free; there’s a wonderful feeling there.’[1]

ENDS

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#IWD2022 CREATING SAFE SPACES FOR WOMEN IN CHUUK IS CRITICAL SAYS ELEANOR

Publish Published
2022
English

To celebrate women in the Pacific we're sharing a series of Herstories of women and women's movements who have collectively struggled, lobbied, stood in solidarity and supported each other and survivors of violence against women, and triumphed. This is a story of Eleanor Mori, a woman leader who is the Coordinator of Tongen Inepwineu Counseling Center (TICC) at the Chuuk Women's Council (CWC). 
 

Eleanor Mori is the Coordinator of Tongen Inepwineu Counseling Center (TICC), the first crisis support centre for women and girls in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Prior to joining TICC, she worked at the Social Affairs Office providing services to elderly and aging citizens. A year into her new job, Eleanor says work at the centre is both challenging and eye-opening.

Seeing women and girls who come into the centre having experienced some form of abuse has fueled her passion for the work.

 ‘‘No child should feel afraid at home,’’ she said, adding: ‘‘A home should be safe. A mother should feel safe. When she is healthy and strong, she can take care of the kids and they grow up to be healthy and strong. When there is no violence in the home that family grows.’’

The establishment of TICC — initiated by the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) — has created a safe space where Chuukese women feel they can finally speak up, something that they are typically hesitant to do. Nationwide, one in every three women in FSM experience physical and/or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime.[1]

‘‘Our women didn’t really like to talk about what goes on in their relationships and it has been a process to win their trust. Now, when they see TICC staff in their communities, they are more open and talk to us about anything.’'

 The centre’s work is being taken seriously by authorities.

 Where previously three witness statements were needed in addition to the centre’s case report before making its final way to the Attorney-General’s Office for further processing, now the case report alone is enough to begin the investigation.

This is a significant achievement and support for TICC clients. This means survivors are not additionally or unnecessarily burdened. To aid in its work, TICC has established a network of 35 family champions throughout the main island with plans to recruit more in the outer islands. The champions, both young and old, refer clients to the centre and accompany them to counselling and referral services (such as medical, police or legal services) if needed. The family champions are TICC’s eyes and ears in the community.

The centre has trained health assistants (with access to dispensaries and transport) and plans to link them to family champions.

Eleanor’s vision for TICC’s future was recently achieved with the centre’s expansion to include phone counselling. Next, she hopes the centre may create a separate, dedicated space for greater client privacy, a day care centre and shelter, a gap TICC addresses by developing safety plans with clients, who choose a safe house and host family with TICC providing remote support.

‘‘This stuff doesn’t just happen between the hours of 8 to 5,’’ said Eleanor, adding: ‘‘That’s why we need a safe house where mothers can go for the night and stay longer if they need to.’’

Currently the only shelter that exists in Chuuk belongs to the Human Trafficking Division under the National Police.

 On her leadership style, Eleanor says it is all about ‘‘having mutual respect and faith in one another’’ that the assigned activities will be done.

Between TICC and CWC, there are women aged 20 to 60 and balancing the generation gap while providing space and opportunities for the younger women to flourish has been high on her agenda.

Launched in March 2020, TICC provides free, confidential counselling and referral support to survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and child sexual abuse through trained safe counsellors.

The centre is part of the CWC, which has received funding and extensive on-going technical support from the Australian Government through the Pacific Women Lead formerly known as Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Program. Tongen Inepwineu means ‘Love of the Family’ in Chuukese.

ENDS


[1][ FSM Family Health and Safety Study, 2014, FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs

One of the largest global commitments to gender equality, Pacific Women Lead aims to promote women’s leadership, realise women’s rights, and increase the effectiveness of regional gender equality efforts.

Australia has committed AUD 170 million to the five-year programme, including through its partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) division, women’s funds and other development partners.

HRSD Pacific Women Lead is at the centre of SPC’s regional work for gender equality, serving as secretariat to the Governance Board and providing technical, convening and funding support to government ministries, civil society and other partners.

For more information about the program’s design refer to the SPC HRSD website or the high-level design framework

 

Pacific Women Lead team starts work at Pacific Community (SPC)

Submitted by SRolls on Thu, 24/02/2022 - 08:55
Publish Published
2022
English

Pacific Women Lead has transitioned to the Pacific Community (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division. With this transition, Pacific Women Lead is now at the centre of SPC’s regional work on gender equality.  

Several members of the new SPC HRSD Pacific Women Lead team have been recruited from the Support Unit of Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women), which was the region’s former gender equality programme supported by Australia over 10 years.

The new programme’s onboarding of specialist staff from Pacific Women, has ensured continuity of funding and technical support to partners during the transition from the former programme to Pacific Women Lead.

During the transition, there is also a focus on capturing and sharing more than a decade of partners’ experiences from the former programme, to help guide Pacific Women Lead.

This includes the promotion and expansion of a new series of knowledge products garnering lessons learned, experiences, and gender transformative approaches from Pacific Women partners. The lessons learned and good practice contained in the knowledge products aim to guide future gender equality initiatives, including the implementation of Pacific Women Lead. They are available online through the Pacific Data Hub as a result of a dedicated knowledge management process.

This intentional transition approach has been guided by a principle of continuity of critical services. Supporting specialist staff to transition from Pacific Women to Pacific Women Lead has ensured uninterrupted technical and funding support to essential services, including many of the 15 Pacific crisis centre partners supported by the former programme.

As Pacific Women Lead began in 2021, the regional Pacific Women program closed with country-specific support in Papua New Guinea continuing in 2022. Pacific Women connected more than 190 partners and over 180 initiatives across 14 countries, making it one of the largest global commitments to gender equality.

Sharing knowledge  

The series of knowledge products capture and share lessons learned, experiences, and gender transformative approaches from many of its 192 partners over the life of the Pacific Women programme.

The series of knowledge products includes:

 

One of the largest global commitments to gender equality, Pacific Women Lead aims to promote women’s leadership, realise women’s rights, and increase the effectiveness of regional gender equality efforts.

Australia has committed AUD 170 million to the five-year programme, including through its partnerships with the Pacific Community (SPC) Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) division, women’s funds and other development partners.

HRSD Pacific Women Lead is at the centre of SPC’s regional work for gender equality, serving as secretariat to the Governance Board and providing technical, convening and funding support to government ministries, civil society and other partners.

For more information about the program’s design refer to the SPC HRSD website or the high-level design framework .

 

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