Representatives of the 26 countries and territories that govern the Pacific Community (SPC) who have gathered in Noumea, New Caledonia, this week for the organisation’s biennial conference, today participated in the official launch of a regional campaign that celebrates the legacy of Pacific women.
The Inspiring Pacific Women campaign, which also coincides with SPC’s 70th Anniversary celebrations, will highlight the significant contribution of 70 women or groups of women towards the social, economic, cultural and political development of SPC’s Pacific Island country and territory members.
Speaking at today’s launch, the Director-General of the Pacific Community, Dr Colin Tukuitonga said, “Without the strength and resilience of our women, the Pacific and our communities would be quite different today. We increasingly hear about the Pacific women of our past who broke barriers and inspired so many – women navigators of our Pacific Ocean, sportswomen, writers and poets. They are all Pacific leaders. The 70 Inspiring Pacific women initiative celebrates their legacy.”
Dr Tukuitonga also paid tribute to the first woman at the helm of SPC, Lourdes Pangelinan, who features as the inaugural profile in the regional campaign.
“I am told Ms Lourdes Pangelinan often describes herself as a simple Chamorro woman yet she pushed the boundaries in terms of women’s leadership and became a role model for women in the region, ” Dr Tukuitonga said.
Earlier this year, SPC made a general call for submissions to assist with identifying suitable candidates for the campaign and over the next 70 days, each successful submission will be shared via SPC’s corporate media platforms and regional media partners.
The campaign will culminate with start of the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and Meeting for Pacific Ministers for Women, which will be hosted in Suva, Fiji in October this year.
SPC member representatives are attending the organisation’s 47th Meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA 47) and 10th Conference of the Pacific Community in Noumea from 24 to 28 July.