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Tonga marks International Women’sa Day today

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 08/03/2017

International women’s day is celebrated today in Tonga and other parts of the globe on the theme “Be bold for change”. A Breakfast program was organised by PSA at Davina house this morning with the Deputy PM Siaosi Sovaleni as Guest of honour.

Deputy Prime Minister – Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said more than 50 percent of the heads of Government are females as the Government’s effort to address SDG target 5, A which is to give women equal rights to economic resources.

“The UN Commission for the status of Women has elected a special theme this year which is in line with the Government to improve economic situations in Tonga which is the economic empowerment of women in the changing world of work. In Tonga women contributes a lot to the economic development of Tonga although sometimes this contribution not officially recognised especially their work in informal sectors and at home. The Contribution of women to the public service is world recognized, as of today we have some of the female CEOS to make up about 54 percent of the CEOs in government. 50 percent of the head of missions are also women, leaders from NGOs and trade unions who are mostly women, to assist and encourage the contributions of women in the informal sectors for the development of Tonga. The government established in Tonga a loan scheme in Tonga Development Bank where women can access with very low interest rates with 4 percent with no security required to undertake income generating activities to help their respective families. Government in the Ministry of Internal Affairs to finance the core functions of NGOS in which most are managed by women”, says Siaosi Sovaleni.

He said next week the 13th of March, CEO of MIA ‘Ana Bing Fonua will join other women leaders around the world in New York to discuss issues such as enabling economic environment employment, care economy, violence at work, social protection and measures and to name a few.

The only female MP in Parliament – ‘Akosita Lavulavu  Vava’u 16 representative to Parliament elaborated on the  need  for women to stand together with  men of the society on gender equality and equity and to find ways to help Tonga as a whole

“Women are underrepresented in Parliamentary Politics in the Pacific Islands as of 2015 the women had the lowest level of representation in the world, we are well behind the global average figure of 20% and Globally target of 30%, almost half of Tonga’s population women continue to be under represented in governance and high level of decision making. What can we do to this statistic and politically empower the women of Tonga? Advantage and sphere when we can take this barrier with a mobilize efforts and resources geared and removing them”, says ‘Akosita Lavulavu. 

Keynote speakers this morning included the former Minister of Justice – ‘Alisi Taumoepeau spoke on   free violence against women at work.

General Manager of 87.5 fm – Katalina Tohi spoke on ways to empower women in economics and urged to register in parties as it is a pathway to get into Parliament and spoke more of ways to empower women in economic activities.

Attending this morning’s program were women in all walks of life.

© Radio and Television Tonga News