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

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news