World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Statement of Nauru Parliamentarian on VAW

Nauru - Statement of Nauru Parliamentarian on VAW

Statement of Hon. Aloysius Amwano, M.P., Parliament of Nauru, during the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development and Forum Presiding Officers and Clerks (PPAPD-FPOC)

Rarotonga, Cook Islands, November 17, 2009

Mr. Chairman,

I am very honoured to contribute on the topic of gender equality, a topic I feel has been left on the orders of the day for too long without action.

Please allow me to reflect a little on gender balance and its progress in Nauru.

We have far more women than men in Nauru and because we are good Christians we can only attract or be attracted to only one whom we shall call wife. For those of you who know me personally, yes I was once a naughty Christian, but I have reformed and I am now wiser from those interactions.

In 2002 the Government of Nauru decided to expand the department of Women's Affairs by creating a Ministry of Women's Affairs. I was very privileged to have been given the portfolio making me the first Minister for Women's Affairs on Nauru.

Fortunately, through my substantive portfolio as Finance Minister, we managed to gain the confidence of Parliament in providing significant funds to the national budget to enable our women to participate at regional and international conventions on women's affairs. The parliamentary support continues in Nauru today.

In that same year some women were appointed to some of the most senior positions in the public service; Chief Secretary, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Secretary for Education and Consul General to Australia. To this day, these positions are still occupied by women with the exception of Foreign Affairs. In addition, our Ambassador to the United Nations is a woman and currently Nauru boasts its first and only PhD holder, also a woman.

Nauru recognizes that violence against women is a human rights issue, a health issue, a policing issue but most importantly a family issue.

Nauru has already addressed gender during our recent constitutional review to ensure that our constitution allows equal rights to men and women and that no discrimination is allowed through old practices, traditions and languages of our first constitution.

The governments of Kiribati and Solomon Islands and Samoa are to be commended for doing the difficult research (on Gender Based Violence) which has concreted their governments' actions to solve the problems.

We in the Pacific pride ourselves in valuing the concept of family.

We Parliamentarians, therefore, must now act together as beacons of democracy to restore the dignity and safety to our families by adopting a ZERO TOLERANCE attitude towards violence against women and children. We must legislate for gender equality and protection.

I was not voted or elected champion for gender equality, I volunteered.

I volunteered because I know I will be meeting many great men of integrity and influence at this meeting. Great men such as Hon. Tom Masters (Cook Islands), Hon, Fredriko Primo ( FSM), Hon. Taomati Iuta (Kiribati), Hon. Teatao Teannaki (Kiribati), Hon. Teatu Moutu Kaibuariki (Kiribati), Hon. Roati Le Mamea (Samoa), Hon. Sir Tomu Sione (Tuvalu), Hon. Valdon Dowiyogo (Nauru), and many more who I am confident will join me to help eradicate all forms of violence against women and children.

At the First Conference of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community held in Tahiti, the first woman Director General of SPC was appointed. I was so fortunate to have her beside me advising me as I chaired the Second Conference of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea. Today I look around this conference room and it is so encouraging to see many more women participating in our regional development and decision-making.

It is sad to note that although much progress on this issue has taken place in Nauru, we still have to provide a safe house and services for the protection of women from violence and abuse.

Many of us in the Parliament are working toward eradicating violence and abuse against women. We currently have no women in our Parliament and we are persevering in empowering our women with confidence so they can become members of Parliament. Someday very soon we are confident to achieve this desired outcome. This outcome can only be achieved with some push, a push similar to the final painful push that women provide so we could be born into this world.

Only yesterday as we discussed and searched for solutions towards the effects of climate change, we agreed on unity under a common voice. This unity cannot be achieved unless we have gender equality.

Gentlemen, we have always referred to her as our better half, yet we use tradition as an excuse for her to walk behind us rather than with us.

Today I call upon you all great men and women to join in and eradicate all forms of violence and discrimination against women. Most important of all, together let us legislate, protect and promote gender equality.

Thank you.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza: Worst And Bloodiest Day Since The Beginning Of The Offensive

• Mass Killings in al-Shuja'iya Neighborhood in Gaza and Dozens of Dismembered Bodies Are in the Streets; More>>

ALSO:

Russia: Lack Of Access At Crash Site Of MH17

We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they ... More>>

ALSO:

Syria: Palestinians In Refugee Camp 'will Likely Go Hungry'

Unable for more than a month now to deliver food and other supplies to Palestinians trapped in a refugee camp near Damascus, the United Nations agency tasked with ensuring their well-being said today it is urgently seeking to resume its humanitarian activities, ... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>

Papua New Guinea: Indonesian Troops Fire On PNG Soldiers Along Border

Indonesian troops have opened fire on a PNG Defence Force border patrol, increasing further tension at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border. The flare-up at the border compelled the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration to summon the Indonesian ... More>>

World News: Internet Well On Way To 3 Billion Users - UN Telecom Agency

Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users – two-thirds of them from the developing world – with mobile-broadband ... More>>

Syria: Gunfire Impedes Food Delivery To Palestinian Refugees

Gunfire stopped distribution of food today in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp, a United Nations spokesperson confirmed today, reiterating demands that the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees be allowed to safely and without interruption distribute ... More>>

Ukraine: Ban Welcomes Release Of Abducted Military Observers

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the release earlier today of European military monitors and accompanying Ukrainian staff abducted a week ago in the country's crisis-torn eastern region, even as he expressed sadness at the loss of life... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news