March 10, 2022

Women must have seat at decision-making table, Ilolahia.

“We cannot talk about gender equality without acknowledging the power dynamics that are often becomes the barrier for women’s participation in society.”

Speaking to about 200 women from the Lami District Council of Social Services (DCOSS), Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisation (PIANGO), Executive Director, Emeline Ilolahia said, women’s real life experiences from the many roles they play managing their households has been their participation to leverage their contributing in national building.
She said women still have limited role in decision-making and feel their voices are not heard despite the positive contributions they make to the development of their communities and their families.

 “We need to reflect and celebrate women’s participation in the development sphere because their experiences will help the nation recover better,” Ms Ilolahia said.

Our bias is rooted in our beliefs, that framed our perspectives and our practice and she has seen women from the Lami DCOSS breaking the bias by collectively spreading the message of love through their work to the communities, ensuring the elderly, children and the vulnerable groups access the much-needed assistance.

“You continue to make a difference, breaking the bias through your collective actions ensuring the less fortunate members of our communities are not left behind,” she added.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Ms Ilolahia reminded the women not to lose focus adding they should continue to break the bias on the level of violence against women and girls and women access and ownership on natural resources such as lands.

Ms Ilolahia said these are classic examples of the disparity in the power dynamics within our families and communities that hindered the work of our women and she challenged the women to continue to make the difference, influence their work to break that bias.

The women from communities around Lami were part of the celebration held at the Latter Day Saints Church hall on Tuesday March 8, with theme for International Women’s Day “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.