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Pacific leaders: Change the lights on women’s rights

31 August 2011

Amnesty International
Media Advisory


Pacific leaders: Change the lights on women’s rights

You are invited to three events where leading Pacific women’s rights experts will discuss women’s rights and participation of women in Pacific society, alongside the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders’ Meeting.

Launch of Amnesty International report on the impact of informal settlements on sexual and gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands.

Auckland, 6 September

What: On 6 September 2011, Amnesty International’s Chief Executive, Patrick Holmes, will hold a press conference in Auckland, New Zealand to launch a new report on Sexual and Gender based violence in the Solomon Islands, ‘Where is the Dignity in That?’ Women in Solomon Islands slums denied sanitation and safety.

The report, released during the week of the Pacific Island Forum leaders’ meeting, profiles the impact of informal settlements on sexual and gender-based violence in the Pacific using the Solomon Islands as a case study.

The report reveals that many women in Solomon Island slums have been physically or sexually abused and are too frightened to make formal complaints to the police for fear of reprisals from their attackers. Others said their complaints to police were ignored.

The report notes an astonishing 64 per cent of women and girls in the Solomon Islands experience physical or sexual violence. The suffering for those living in the country’s burgeoning slums is particularly acute.

This plight is common throughout the Pacific region, which has some of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. On average two out of every three Pacific women experience abuse.

Amnesty International has invited Jocelyn Lai, a Board Member of the Solomon Islands Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), to Auckland to detail the impact of this issue on her country-women within several side events during this week’s PIF Leaders’ Meeting.

When: The press conference and report launch will be held on Tuesday 6 September NZT from10.00am – 11.00am.

Where: AUT Conference Centre Atrium, WA Building, 74 Lorne Street, Auckland.

Who: Speaking at the event and available for interview will be:
• Patrick Holmes, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand’s Chief Executive.
• Jocelyn Lai, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in the Solomon Islands.


WRAP EVENTS
(Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific)

Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the Pacific: Where To From Here?

What: On 6 September 2011, Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP) in association with The Pacific Media Centre, will hold a panel discussion titled Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the Pacific: Where to from here?

The panel discussion will feature leading women’s rights experts from non-government agencies working in the Pacific region including the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the Solomon Islands YWCA.

When: The panel discussion will be held on 6 September at 11.15am – 12.30pm,
Where: AUT Conference Centre Atrium, WA Building, 74 Lorne Street, Auckland.

Who: Facilitating the discussion and available for interview afterwards will be: Sumi Subramaniam (Family Planning International New Zealand).

Contributing to the discussion and available for interview afterwards will be:
• Joycelyn Lai (Young Women’s Christian Association, Solomon Islands)
• Edwina Kotoisuv (Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre)
• Ema Tagicakibau (Campaigner/Researcher, Pacific Small Arms Action Group)




Women, Politics and Change

What: On 7 September 2011, Oxfam New Zealand -in association with Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, and Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP) will provide an opportunity for women’s rights activists from across the Pacific region to discuss the role of women in public and political life in the Pacific.

When: Wednesday 7 September, 4.00pm – 6.00pm.

Where: Oxfam head office, Level 1, 14 West Street, Newton, Auckland.

Who: Speaking at the event and available to interview afterwards will be:
• Roshika Deo (Fiji Women’s Rights Movement),
• Jocelyn Lai (Young Women’s Christian Association, Solomon Islands)
• Helen Hakena (Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, Buka, PNG)
• Ema Tagicakibau (Campaigner/Researcher, Pacific Small Arms Action Group)
• Siava Tekafa (Tuvalu National Women’s Council, Tuvalu)

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