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

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news