Sincha Dimara: My mother, a West Papuan survivor of many hardships, spurred along by her faith

Dominguis and Dolfintje Dimara pictured on the day they were married. Image: #InspirationalPapuaNewGuineans

PROFILE: By Sincha Dimara in Port Moresby

I once asked my mother how was it that she married at the tender age of 16 and left home in West Papua for a foreign land – neighbouring Papua New Guinea – never to see family again for more than three decades.

She told me: “When your father left for work and I was left alone, it dawned on me that I may never see my family again.

“Silent tears flowed in those quiet moments, tanta (aunty) Wanma noticed. She asked me if papa was not nice to me. I shook my head, ‘no’… it was only after the birth of my first child, that my whole world changed.”

READ MORE: Inspirational Papua New Guineans

My mother, Dolfintje Imbab, was born on 4 December 1949, four years after World World Two ended. She was 70 last week (on 4 December 2018).

She was born somewhere on the banks of the Warfor River on Supiori Island, part of the Biak Islands in West Papua at a time when villagers had been forced to move inland to escape the horrors of war.

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She completed her primary education in 1960, in what was then a Dutch colony. She was not considered for further studies because most women back then were told to return home to assist the family male members of the family to continue their education.

This meant gardening, fishing and other daily chores to sustain the family.

Against Indonesian takeover
My father, Domingus Dimara (that’s a story on its own), came to Papua New Guinea as a young man in 1963. He was against Indonesia’s takeover of West Papua then and decided to make PNG home.

Family snapshots … Dominguis and Dolfintje Dimara. Right: Dolfintje Dimara and with their first child. Image:
#InspirationalPapuaNewGuineans

He returned in 1965 in search for a bride; my mother was chosen.

My late father was a disciplinarian and always believed in doing the right thing. Initially there was resistance from my maternal grandparents upon hearing that their daughter would marry and move far from home.

My maternal grandmother placed locally made bracelets (gelang biak) on both her arms. The bracelets identify a woman or man as a Biak person.

They were married in May 1965 in Biak town and after meeting legal and customary obligations they travelled to the capital Hollandia, now Jayapura. From there, they travelled by plane to Lae, then on to Port Moresby.

My parents lived with Om and Tanta Marjen (late Aunty and Uncle Marjen) who had earlier moved to Port Moresby after Indonesia gained control of West Papua.

My parents were also accommodated by the Wanma family. This was in the 1960s. One of mum’s early memories is witnessing the 1969 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby and the basketball matches played at the Hohola Courts.

New suburbs sprouted
A few years later when Port Moresby was beginning to expand and new suburbs sprouted, my father was able to secure a house from the National Housing Commission in 1970.

Dolfintje Imbab Dimara with her sister and grand niece in Jayapura. Image:
#InspirationalPapuaNewGuineans

In 1990, more than 30 years since her arrival in PNG, mum first crossed the border as a PNG citizen into Indonesian territory. She did so after communicating with family members through letters for more than 20 years.

Her father had passed on but her mother – my grandmother – was still alive then. She would meet family members again over the years.

In 1979, both of my parents were granted PNG citizenship along with other West Papuans. Among them were the Marjens, Sarwoms, Wanmas.

Sadly, my father passed on in 1994. My mother’s strength and love for the family has kept her going this far.

She lost three of her seven children. Edward our youngest died of heart failure in 1992. Robin was murdered by criminals in 1999 and my sister Salomina died of breast cancer in 2013.

Throughout all the hardships, I believe her faith in God has kept her going. She has mastered the Motu language, speaks a little English and Tok Pisin and made many friends in PNG.

She is also a survivor of breast cancer having gone through treatment in 2011. In a few weeks’ time she will travel home to visit her place of birth and meet her siblings again.

I jokingly asked if it was time to return for good. But I guess she’d rather spend time with the family she created – her children and grandchildren.

Sincha Dimara has been an #EMTV producer for 30 years. She is manager, news and current affairs of the television network in Papua New Guinea.

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Fiji women have confidence that their gender in politics will hear their voices

SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya … “breath of fresh air” in Fiji politics. Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Koroi Tadulala in Suva

The role of women in every segment of society is vital and this is slowly been reflected through more women contesting political spaces in Fiji.

This year recorded the highest number of women contesting the country’s general election compared to previous elections – and also the highest number elected.

The new 51-seat Parliament includes 10 women, five in government and five in the opposition.

READ MORE: 2018 Fiji elections – the ‘fake news’ catchphrase of this ballot but beware

The highest polling woman, SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya – a talented lawyer and former beauty queen described by media as a “breath of fresh air”, being the fifth highest of the successful MPs.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni says this the success of women is “wonderful news” and she is expected to continue as Speaker.

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A total of 56 women from all 6 political parties contested this year hoping to represent women and their issues in political debate.

Amelia Qalituraga, 40, of Banaras Lautoka, is delighted that more women stood for election despite politics being a male-dominated field in this country.

Grassroots support
While casting her vote last Wednesday, she expressed hope that women in Parliament would be able to help out women at grassroots level, especially over the minimum wage rate.

“Working as a cleaner at the rate of $2.70 an hour hasn’t been any easy for me and my family,” she says.

“Na veika ga keimami kerea jiko vei ira na marama era na curu I Palimedi me ra rogoci keimami kei na neimami gagadre,” she added. (The only thing we want from women representatives is to listen to our needs and voices.)

With the rise in sexual assault and rape cases victimising women, Qalituraga hopes that women in Parliament will be able to make a change.

“Na levu ni sexual assault kei na rape sa yaco tu ni kua, au sa vavinavinaka saraga ni na rawa ni rogoci na neimami gagadre.” (With the rise in sexual assault and rape cases against women, I believe that women in political spaces will be able to listen to our concerns now).

Krishneel Vikash Chand, a 21-year-old student at the University of Fiji, says “only a woman will be able to understand the needs of other women and their issues”.

“I think it’s good to have more women in politics because it gives women more empowerment,” he adds.

Better represented
Chand says the idea of women being part of the decision making process would allow women to be better represented and ensure their voices are heard.

Despite the positive response from most people about women competing in political spaces,  some prefer men to address their issues rather than women.

Madhuri Nair … supports idea of empowerment for women but prefers men to address women’s issues. Image: Wansolwara

Madhuri Nair, of Field 40, Lautoka, likes the idea of women empowerment but prefers men to address women’s issues.

“I think it’s good that more women are participating in political spaces, however, I want men to solve women’s issues because sometimes women don’t think nicely.”

Despite the mixed responses from people around Lautoka, it is clear women at the grassroots level want their voices heard and issues to be addressed.

  • Premila Kumar, Selai Adimaitoga, Veena Bhatnagar, Mereseini Vuniwaqa and Rosy Akbar are included in the 27-member FijiFirst-led government while Social Democratic Liberal Party members Lynda Tabuya, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Salote Radrodro, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and National Federation Party member Lenora Qereqeretabua are included in the 24-member opposition.

Koroi Tadulala is a final-year student journalist at the University of the South Pacific. This article is republished under the content sharing arrangement between USP’s Wansolwara student journalism newspaper and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

‘Victim blaming’ in latest Indonesian uni sex abuse case angers thousands

By Sri Wahyuni and Evi Mariani in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

An leading Indonesian university’s initial response to a recent sexual assault case allegedly involving two of its students has angered thousands of people, who have signed a petition demanding that the Yogyakarta institution punish the student perpetrator and the campus officials who had penalised the student victim.

In less than 24 hours, the online petition protesting against the 70-year-old Gadjah Mada University (UGM) on change.org had garnered more than 55,000 signatories by Wednesday morning, with more people signing every second to reach more than 167,000 signatories by mid-afternoon today.

“We demand that the UGM rector, the advisory board and the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry to strengthen regulations on preventing sexual assault and law enforcement against sex offenders,” the petition states as one of its demands.

READ MORE: An alumna at UGM appeals to the university to be a pioneer against sexual abuse

A separate call to a rally on Thursday has been circulating on social media to demand that the university thoroughly investigate the case and create a safe campus environment.

The call says that UGM is facing “a sexual violence emergency”, pointing out that the latest case was not the university’s first and that UGM has not been siding with victims.

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On November 5, Balairung published an investigative report based on the testimony of a female student under the pseudonym Agni, who gave the UGM student magazine permission to publish the full details of her account.

Agni said that a fellow student had assaulted her during a community service project (KKN) at a Maluku village on June 30, 2017. The KKN is a kind of field school programme that lasts several months, during which the students live with local families in the target village.

Homestay lodging
Agni said she was visiting a villager until late evening at their home where fellow KKN student “HS” was staying, so she decided to spend the night at HS’ homestay and return to her own lodging in the morning.

They had to share a single room that night, Agni said, but that they were separated by some distance in the room. She also said she slept fully clothed and still in her headscarf.

Early the following morning, she said she felt HS groping her, opening her top, kissing her breasts and inserting his fingers in her genitalia. She froze in momentary shock until she felt pain that prompted her to yell at HS, “What are you doing!”

Agni said she immediately reported the incident to the KKN supervisor and the UGM Community Service Department (DKPM), which managed the programme. The university officials cut short HS’ programme and sent him back to Yogyakarta, but Agni said they also blamed her for the incident, with one official telling her to “repent”, reported Balairung.

Agni said that after the assault, she often felt scared at night and ended up staying awake all night. She also had suicidal thoughts, she said as quoted by Balairung.

In November 2017, Agni learned that she received a C for her KKN assignment, while her peers on the same programme received an A or a B. Agni said she asked about the reason for her low grade, and that the KKN management responded that she had to share the blame for the incident that “embarrassed UGM” in front of the local villagers.

In the Balairung article, a university official who declined to be named said that the student press should not be in a rush to call Agni a victim. “Like a cat given salted fish, it will at least sniff it and might even eat the fish, right?” Balairung quoted the official as saying in reference to Agni.

Low grade reported
In December 2017, Agni reported the C she received for her KKN assignment and the circumstances surrounding it to her academic department, the Social and Political Sciences Faculty (Fisipol).

The Fisipol’s cooperation, alumni and research deputy dean, Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti, and the deputy dean for academics and student affairs, Wawan Mas’udi, followed up on her case to the top administrative level.

An inter-departmental independent investigation team was formed that recommended Agni’s KKN grade be revise from C to A/B. The team also recommended that the perpetrator write an apology and attend a mandatory counseling session for sexual abusers.

On Tuesday, in response to the Balairung article, Fisipol UGM posted a statement on its Instagram account, @fisipolugm, reiterating its commitment to “side with victim”.

“With this, Fisipol UGM states that we side with the survivor to find justice and a thorough solution to the problem,” the statement said.

It also said that steps had been taken to deal with “Agni’s” case, including a letter it sent to the rector on December 22, 2017, that asked the university to manage the case thoroughly.

Fisipol said that the rector arranged a closed meeting with relevant parties in response to its letter, and agreed during the meeting to set up an investigation team that involved several departments. The rector also agreed to sanction the DKPM officials for their “ignorance” in their initial handling of the incident until “the survivor” reported the case to Fisipol.

Trauma counselling
During the same meeting, Fisipol said it agreed to engage psychologists to provide trauma counseling for “the survivor”.

The statement continued that, after an intensive investigation, the team submitted its recommendations to the rector on July 20, 2018, which included punishment for the perpetrator, protection and support for the victim and improvements to managing the KKN programme.

“This is why Fisipol UGM is pushing for a thorough and speedy management of the case by implementing the follow-up measures as recommended by the investigation team,” the statement said, ending with a call to all parties to create a campus that was free from sexual abuse.

Separately, UGM public relations and protocol head Ariani said the university would continue its work to make sure that the victim received protection and justice.

“Next, UGM will soon take the necessary real steps to take the case to the legal domain,” Ariana said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Other UGM cases
In 2016, a sexual abuse case that involved several female victims among Fisipol students rocked the university. The perpetrator, EH, was a respected lecturer and the head of the international relations department at the time of the incident.

EH was stripped of his positions, but is still officially employed as a UGM lecturer.

The investigative report in the Balairung student magazine also cited other unresolved sexual assault cases at UGM.

Sexual assault at universities

Many commentators believe that the incidents of sexual assault at universities that have emerged in the public eye are a mere tip of the iceberg.

In 2008, the University of Indonesia (UI) Law School received sexual assault reports from several students on a lecturer, TN.

As in the case of UGM’s EH, TN also sexually assaulted his students during one-on-one thesis consultations. TN was later dismissed from UI but he was still being interviewed by the media.

Women’s empowerment and rights activist Damairia Pakpahan said she had represented a sexual assault victim of a humanities lecturer at UGM, but that the case did not go anywhere.

The reporters are Jakarta Post journalists.

#kitaAGNI

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Fiji gender groups welcome 56 women candidates, slam lack of diversity

Participants in the Fiji Young Women’s Forum in Labasa, Fiji, earlier this year. Image: FWRM

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

A Fiji women’s coalition has praised the confirmation of 56 female candidates for the 2018 Fiji national elections next week, but warned over the lack of diverse young women in national decision making.

Diverse Voices and Action for Equality (DIVA) said in a statement today women were under-represented at all levels of decision making in Fiji, including formal and informal governance processes.

This meant women – including diverse young women – did not have equal influence over policy decisions that affected their lives.

The Fiji Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) congratulated six young women candidates under 30 years of age, saying it looked forward to engaging in their leadership

However, FYWF also noted a lack of representation of diverse young women in decision making at the national level and said this was expected to increase in the future.

“It is critical to recognise that with continuous and effective support, the self-determination of all young women regarding the formation of an accountable and transparent government that will in turn help to advance all diverse young women’s social, economic and political statuses,” said FYWF.

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Exercising their rights
The forum also called on young women to realise the significance of active political participation and exercising their rights in community and national levels to enact change.

With awareness through civic education, young women were better informed of their constitutional rights and were able to confidently assert themselves in their communities, said FYWF.

“As diverse young women we face multiple forms of discriminations because of our age, sex gender, and psycho social disability.

“FYWF envisages a future where we have the freedom to express our views, opinions and political beliefs in safety and with dignity with no fear of retribution or violence.”

The Emerging Leaders Forum Alumni (ELFA) said effective, equal and safe political participation of women and young women was vital for a strengthened democracy promoting gender equality and women’s human rights.

FemLINKPACIFIC stressed the community media contribution.

Accessing information
“”We recognise the need for young women to access key information and communication platforms to actively participate in civic dialogue, decision making and lead shifts in public and political opinion,” it said.

femLINKPACIFIC called for continued investment in young women’s empowerment for increased participation.

The Fiji Young Women’s Forum (FYWF) is a space for diverse young women leaders to articulate their needs, rights and perspectives on Fiji’s political transition and strategise for moving Fiji forward.

The past five forums saw young women leaders continuing to make visible their opinions, particularly in the national election process.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Fijian students design superheroes to challenge ‘Silence’ in comic contest

Students at Holy Trinity Primary School in Suva, Fiji, presented their superheroes designed during a workshop held on Monday. Image: UNICEF

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Advocacy groups have called on children and young people to defeat the “ultimate supervillain” – silence – to help end violence in and around schools.

The Holy Trinity Primary School students’ superheroes will be entered in this global competition organised by UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations.

During the workshop at Holy Trinity Primary School, UNICEF Pacific ambassador Pita Taufatofua said: “Every child in Fiji, in the Pacific islands and throughout the world, has the right to go to school and feel safe.

“Superhero” Love Walker. Image: UNICEF

“Let’s talk about the kind of superpowers that your superhero might have that will help every child feel safe in school.”

The students also had the chance to work with Tui Ledua, from Kanalevu Animation and Illustration.

“How will we create a superhero to prevent bullying?” Ledua told the students.

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He responded to the students’ ideas on the characteristics his superhero should have and brought this character to life right in front of their eyes, a superhero complete with a sasa broom to be used as a magic wand to create a peaceful world.

Silencing children
Silence is a supernatural character that uses its powers to stop children from speaking up and taking action against violence in and around schools.

Children and young people aged 25 years and under have been invited to design their own comic superhero that will defeat Silence and help keep children safe in school.

UNICEF Pacific representative Sheldon Yett said: “From fighting and bullying to sexual harassment and corporal punishment, violence in and around schools can have devastating, long-term consequences for children.”

The Silence superhero comic contest will encourage children and young people in
Fiji and around the world to be part of UNICEF’s global campaign to shed light on and spark action to #ENDviolence in schools through the creative medium of comic design.

The top submissions in the contest will be chosen after the closing date on October 25 by a special panel of judges, including comic artist Gabriel Picolo and last year’s comic contest winner Sathviga “Sona” Sridhar.

The public will then have the opportunity to vote online for their favourite comic hero between November 16 and 25.

The winner will be announced in December and will work with a professional team to turn their winning idea into a full-length comic book. Their comic will be presented to World Leaders at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations in July 2019, as well as distributed to schools and children worldwide.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Rights violations, censorship threatens EU-Vietnam deal, says watchdog

Vietnam’s human rights record could jeopardise an upcoming free trade deal with the European Union, according to Human Rights Watch. Asia-Pacific Journalism’s Jessica Marshall reports.

A global human rights watchdog claims that Vietnam’s human rights record could jeopardise a free trade deal with the European Union.

A warning letter by Human Rights Watch, dated September 17, sent by 32 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) was addressed to the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström.

It called for a “push for robust progress in Vietnam’s human rights record ahead of the possible ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA)”.

“. . . loose provisions on national security have been widely used to suppress peaceful dissent and jail scores of human rights defenders. . .,” the letter said.

READ MORE: Vietnam censorship extends to popular, official news website

ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNALISM STUDIES APJS NEWSFILE

The letter claimed that there was a need for a series of targets that the country should meet before the agreement was handed over to the European Parliament for its approval.

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The ratification of the EVFTA agreement is slated to happen at the end of this year and would rid the country of at least 99 percent of customs duties paid on exports into Europe.

Censorship has lately become a growing concern.

Censoring reality
The words Bachelor: Vietnam contestant Minh Thu uttered to Bachelor Quoc Trung on the episode which aired on September 21 said: “I went into this competition to find love, and I’ve found that love for myself, but it isn’t with you. It’s with someone else”.

While participating in the competition over time, Thu had fallen in love with another woman, fellow contestant Truc Nhu, and they left the programme together.

“In Vietnamese pop culture, there’s a lot of people that are rumoured to be LGBT or people that hint at it. . . So to see a moment that’s unequivocal, where someone is saying that they love someone else . . . I think it’s going to be very powerful to young people,” says the shows story producer Anh-Thu Nguyen.

At this point in the history of Vietnam, few are willing to come out of the proverbial closet – in more ways than one.

Despite this, censors allowed the confession to air almost completely, a move surprising many viewers and commentators.

Vietnam, a Communist country since 1976, has seen much censorship over the years and its culture, it appears, has been no different.

Bachelor: Vietnam, currently in its first season, has faced issues of potential censorship since its inception. According to the show’s executive producer, Anh Tran, it was difficult to sell to networks.

Many of the traditional parts of the United States’ version of the show had to be edited or cut out entirely to avoid censure from censors.

The rose ceremony, for example, has to be carefully edited to avoid showing a line-up of women vying for a man – the main plot point for the show.

Mai Khoi, the woman who has been dubbed as Vietnam’s own Lady Gaga or Pussy Riot and who recorded the controversial number Dissent, was detained and “interrogated for eight hours”. Image: Hanoi Grapevine

Censorship of culture
Vietnam is ruled by the Communist Party, and censorship is seemingly common in the cultural realm as singer Mai Khoi could attest.

In March, the woman who has been dubbed as the country’s own Lady Gaga or Pussy Riot, was detained at the airport, and “interrogated for eight hours”.

Copies of her latest album, Dissent, were confiscated, she claimed in a Facebook post.
She has written songs about the women’s movement and LGBT rights. She also ran – unsuccessfully – for public office in the country. She now performs in secret in her own country.

The country has been a Communist nation since the 1960s, and censorship has long been a part of that.

Last month, Reuters reported that a court had jailed an activist for 12 years in prison and a further five years’ house arrest.

Nguyen Trung Truc, 44, was – according to a statement given by police – among a group called “Brotherhood for Democracy” in 2013. The group, police said, conducted “anti-government activities” with the aim of creating a system of “multi-party democracy” in Vietnam.

‘Hurt the prestige’
A second man, Bui Manh Dong, 40, was convicted over his comments on September 28.
Police said that Dong had “hurt the prestige and leading role of the [Communist] party and the state”.

Dong, and one other man, Doan Knanh Vinh Quang, were accused of encouraging people to protest against government policies or write posts that were critical of the government.

Vietnam has a high level of social media use among its citizens yet the country’s Communist government has introduced a new law which, according to Amnesty International, would force tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook to hand over data from their users.

“This decision has potentially devastating consequences for freedom of expression in Viet Nam,” said Clare Algar, international director of global operations for Amnesty International, in June.

“With the sweeping powers it grants the government to monitor online activity, this. . . means there is now no safe place left. . . for people to speak freely”.

Last year, it was reported that the country had built up a force of “cyber-troops” to tackle what they call “wrongful views”.

Jessica Marshall is a student journalist on the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies course at AUT. She is filing articles in the Asia-Pacific Journalism Studies paper.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Boe climate and security pact big step forward, but lacks a gender drive

The major item on the agenda at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum was climate change. However, a gender gap appears to be at play within climate change itself. Jessica Marshall reports for Asia Pacific Journalism.

The content of the Boe Declaration, signed at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru earlier this month, is not widely known. However, a statement from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern suggests that it declares climate change as a security issue.

“The Boe Declaration acknowledges additional collective actions are required to address new and non-traditional challenges. Modern-day regional security challenges include climate change,” she said in a statement.

Both the Leaders Communique and the declaration itself affirm the fact that climate change is a real issue. However, it is discussion of gender in light of that is lacking.

READ MORE: Nauru 2018 and the new Boe on the block

APJS NEWSFILE

According to a report by Oxfam, men survived women 3 to 1 in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) suggests that this was because women were trapped in their homes at the time of the disaster “while men were out in the open”.

-Partners-

The agency also suggest that a cultural or religious custom can restrict a woman’s ability to survive a natural disaster.

“. . . the clothes they wear and/or their responsibilities in caring for children could hamper their mobility in times of emergency,” a UNDP report says.

Caregivers and providers
Figures from the United Nations show that 80 percent of those displaced by climate change were women. This, they argue, is caused primarily by their roles as caregivers and providers of food.

London School of Economics research indicates that women and girls are definitively more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than their male counterparts.

In societies where women are considered to be lower on the metaphorical food chain, “natural disasters will kill . . . more women than men,” the report says.

The two researchers could find no biological reason why women would be at more risk than men.

Based on this research, and other research like it, many public figures have called for attention to be paid to the issue.

“More extreme weather events. . . will all result in less food. Less food will mean that women and children get less,” dystopian author Margaret Atwood told a London conference in June.

The author of books like The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake said that climate change “. . . will also mean social unrest, which can lead to wars and civil wars . . . Women do badly in wars”.

Primarily burdened
When asked about the issue at an event at Georgetown University in February, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “. . . women. . . will be . . . primarily burdened with the problems of climate change”.

Earlier this month, former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark told a crowd of about 200 people at the National Council of Women (NCW) conference that the world was close to missing the opportunity to tend to the issue of climate change and women were most likely to be affected by it.

“Everything we know tells us that women are the most vulnerable in this,” she said. “If you look at the natural disasters caused by weather. . . more women die”.

According to Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, women are more affected by climate change than their male counterparts but are also “less likely to be empowered to cope”.

“Women aren’t making enough of the decisions, and the decisions aren’t yet doing enough for women,” she wrote in The Guardian.

The UNDP argues it is because of a woman’s place in the household that she is in prime position to affect change when it comes to this issue.

“. . . knowledge and capabilities [regarding reproduction, household and community roles] can and should be deployed for/in climate change mitigation, disaster relief and adaptation strategies,” the report says..

Feminist solution
“A feminist solution” is what former Irish President and UN Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson argued for in June.

She explained that “feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change”.

She’s not the only, nor the first, to make such a suggestion.

A whole feminist environmental movement, known as ecofeminism, has sprung up over the decades since the 1970s.

At its most basic level, ecofeminism is exactly what it sounds like: It argues that there is a relationship between environmental damage – such as that done by climate change – and the oppression of women and their rights.

For example, in her 2014 book This Changes Everything, journalist Naomi Klein argues that it is hypocritical that the self-same lawmakers who claim to be “pro-life” are also the ones who push for whole industries surrounding drilling, fracking and mining to not only survive but thrive.

Business confidence
“If the Earth is indeed our mother, then far from the bountiful goddess of mythology, she is a mother facing many great fertility challenges,” she writes.

In New Zealand, leader of the opposition National Party Simon Bridges, who is opposed to the idea of removing abortion from the Crimes Act, is also vehemently opposed to the idea of stopping oil and gas exploration in the Taranaki region.

His concern is that “It will have an effect on business confidence,” he said back in April.

The truth of climate change, as with most global issues, is that there can be no one-size fits all solution.

For some, like Helen Clark, it requires long-term mass movements. For others, it requires being invited to the conversation.

Time will tell as to which one wins out.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

NZ must help Solomon Islands tackle unemployment ‘time bomb’, says Clark

Former PM Helen Clark at the National Council of Women conference yesterday … New Zealand should rethink its aid structure. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

By Jessica Marshall in Auckland

The Solomon Islands faces a “time bomb” with a youth unemployment rate of 82 percent and New Zealand needs to do more to help the Pacific country, says former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Youth unemployment is “one of the huge challenges of our time”, she says.

“They’ve all got ideas, they want to do things, and . . . I really urge our aid programme to focus back on some of these basics again,” she told the annual conference of the National Council of Women (NCW) in Auckland yesterday.

READ MORE: Violence against women is a national crisis: Clark

Clark, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is the new patron of NCW and is the author of a new book launched this weekend, Women, Equality, Power.

She said the New Zealand government needed to rethink how its aid programme was structured.

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“A country like the Solomon Islands could have a future but it needs investment in its agriculture.”

She said New Zealand used to invest its aid programme – in places like Thailand, for example – in the country’s agriculture.

“How much focus have we got on agriculture now?” she asked.

‘No brainer’
“It’s just a no brainer to try to support people back into the value chain.”

She made the call during a discussion on the UN Sustainable Development Goals which Clark was instrumental in developing during her time with UNDP.

Dr Gill Greer, chief executive of NCW, said that the inclusive manner in which Clark went about developing the goals was “not typical of the UN at many times”.

“It was a vision, it is a vision,” said Dr Greer, adding that the goals did not go far enough on the issue of gender.

“The living framework has one indicator, and that is all, and in this room [of 200 people] just think of how many we could suggest immediately?”

Clark replied: “Gender is in every goal”.

Clark also discussed the issue of migrants in Nauru, proclaiming it to be a crisis.

“There is something fundamentally wrong, this is not a sustainable situation and it’s no way to treat people.”

Earlier yesterday, the BBC reported that children had been attempting suicide and self-harm on the island.

The Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit opens in Nauru tomorrow.

Jessica Marshall is a student journalist on AUT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies (Journalism) course.

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Gallery: Stimulating insights, vision for gender diversity summit

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is the new patron for the National Council of Women and she shared her stimulating thoughts and insights at the national conference in Auckland yesterday.

In an interview format with NCW chief executive Dr Gill Greer, Clark talked about violence against women, pay equity, leadership, abortion law reform, and sustainable development aid in the Asia-Pacific region.

Clark is a former administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The conference theme was He Toa Takitini – “strength in diversity”.

The Pacific Media Centre’s Del Abcede, of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), was on hand at Mount Wellington to get some pictures.

1. “All that separates whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome.” – Kate Sheppard. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

2. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark … keynote speaker in interview. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

3. Former PM Helen Clark being interviewed by National Council of Women chief executive Dr Gill Greer. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

4. He Toa Takitini …. “Strength in diversity”. The theme of this year’s NCW national conference. Image: De; Abcede/PMC

5. Scenes from the NCW national conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

6. Scenes from the NCW national conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

7. Scenes from the NCW national conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

8. Scenes from the NCW national conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

9. Scenes from the NCW national conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

10. Vira Grace Paky of UN Youth Auckland at the NCW conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

11. Pacific Media Centre and WILPF’s Del Abcede at the NCW conference.

12. Former PM Helen Clark at the NCW conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

13. Helen Clark with Ruth Coombes of WILPF at the conference. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

14. Helen Clark with the PMC’s Del Abcede at the conference.

15. A cartoon message for men – “listen!” Image: Del Abcede/PMC

16. He Toa Takitini – “Strength in diversity”. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media