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

 


Tonga: Commission on the Status of Women



PERMANENT MISSION
OF THE KINGDOM OF TONGA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Commission on the Status of Women

Fifty Sixth Session

National Statement

Delivered by

Ms. Polotu Fakafanua - Paunga

New York

2 March 2012

Check Against Delivery

Madam Chair

Rural women in Tonga perform multiple roles as household and subsistence managers, income earners, and as active members of churches and community development groups. Their contribution to agriculture is in the form of unpaid work, and mainly to produce food for household consumption, therefore it is not captured by official statistics, because of its informal nature. In 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forests, and Fisheries created a division called Food, Women, and Youth Community Development, to support the development of women in their communities, notably through agricultural activities such as vegetable gardens.

Madam Chair

Our Government is the first democratically elected Government in Tonga, which came into office in December 2010, and the Prime Minister had the liberty of appointing up to 4 members of his Government, in which he appointed 2 Ministers, one of which is the only female Minister and Member of Parliament, the Minister of Education, Women’s Affairs and Culture.

The Government has developed a new medium term national development plan, the Tonga Strategic Development Framework, which includes 9 priority areas to provide for it’s economic policies and to guide her activities for the period 2011 – 2014, including:

• the empowerment of women and eradication of hardships, to build strong inclusive communities, by engaging districts/villages/communities in meeting their prioritized service needs, and ensuring prioritized and equitable development of benefits by one of the strategies on the implementation of the national policy on gender and development, and
• better formulation and implementation of outer island and rural development programmes through local communities.

Madam Chair

Our Government sincerely believes this Framework will put Tonga on a firm path to improving its ability to meaningfully achieve the United Nation's MDGs by 2015 ,and on MDG Goal 1 and Goal 3, areas of Human Development where there is continuing hardship facing households and communities in the rural areas and outer islands. Tonga is highly dependent on foreign remittances and it’s decline predominantly from the USA, has reduced household incomes significantly thus exacerbating the challenges of rural and outer island households. Our Government plans to introduce a social protection scheme, to mitigate increased hardships amongst the more vulnerable members of society.

The Government has made several policy changes and legislative reforms pertaining to women’s rights:

• in 2010, the Public Service Commission instituted a new policy to extend paid maternity leave from 1 month to 3 months for public servants (1 week is granted for paternity leave),
• in November 2011, Government approved to draft of a Bill on Legislation on Violence Against Women and Children, to be tabled in the 2012 Parliamentary Session,
• in December 2011, Government approved to conduct nationwide consultations to reach a consensus as a way forward to consider the ratification of CEDAW,
• in February 2012, the conduct of the first national joint Government – CSO / NGO consultation for Tonga’s reporting in October 2012, on the Universal Periodic Review, and
• the Tonga National Study on Domestic Violence Against Women and a Community Radio for Rural Women, will be launched on 7 March 2012, as part of the national activities to mark International Women’s Day.

Madam Chair

Our Government is proactive in improving women with access to quality education, healthcare services, employment, security and social-economic status. We have identified several areas needing assistance:

• funding assistance and technology transfer to mitigate and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, including development projects;
• direct assistance in strengthening infrastructure, healthcare and education, particularly in rural areas;
• mainstreaming gender and capacity building to increase women’s participation in the economy, and at the decision making level, and
• conduct research and data collection of gender disaggregated data, and develop gender indicators for evaluation and monitoring of women’s status in all areas including violence against women

In closing we take this opportunity to thank all of our donor and development partners (both regional and international), relevant CSOs and NGOs, who have assisted us with our efforts to advance gender issues and look forward to the continuation of their commitment and support in the future. Tonga continues to be supportive in many UN debates concerning the empowerment of women.

Thank you for your attention.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news