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ADB expands assistance to empower women

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 5/12/2019

A senior officer from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) this morning highlighted the need to empower women in different aspects of life especially in workplaces that are traditionally dominated by men. A one-day roundtable consultative workshop was held in Nuku’alofa hosted by the Women Affairs Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs aiming to discuss the draft gender profile for Tonga on gender-based related issues.

ADB’s Principal Social Development Specialist – Dr Ritu Verma says, the purpose of the workshop is to enable evidence-based policy making for gender equality in Tonga, also to increase productivity and bring different gender perspectives from the workplaces.

Tonga is part of four countries in the Pacific chosen to take part in the second phase of ADB’s Regional Technical Assistance Project Promoting Evidence-Based Policy Making for Gender Equity in the Pacific.

ADB has been supporting a lot of work especially in economic empowerment of women – jobs that are often considered only for men so ADB’s trying to support women to enter into those fields – so I know TPL has been supporting women into fields that were not considered open for women – so in a way it’s breaking down some barriers, so that there’s equitable access to jobs.”

Dr. Verma also elaborated on the importance of the workshop for achieving gender equality in Tonga.

Having more policewomen but being able to respond to any calls, urgent calls, whether it’s gender-based violence, domestic violence, as all the Legislative institutions. We need men as gender champions, we cannot do it without them, definitely.”

Attending the consultation are related stakeholders also non-government organizations who will generate feedback, inputs and reflections, on gender equity in Tonga.



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