This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

Fijian human rights activist Noelene Nabulivou is a determined voice of disenfranchised women and people. As a brave, openly lesbian Pacific woman in a region where the LGBTI+ community continues to face discrimination, she works for justice for all Pacific islanders. Noelene is known for the political care, sharpness and passion of her work. “I love being a Pacific islander. We are funny, fierce and … Continue reading This LGBT, feminism and human rights activist from Fiji is a legend for young social fighters

A businesswoman in Vanuatu

Ni-Vanuatu businesswoman Rosemary Leona is living proof that Pacific women can stake a claim in the region’s male-dominated business scene. The fifty-four-year-old native of Pentecost Island has made a name for herself in two of Vanuatu’s key industries: tourism and kava. She is the proud owner of the recently launched Vila Rose Hotel in the heart of Port Vila. Rosemary has also run a successful … Continue reading A businesswoman in Vanuatu

She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

Seventy-three-year-old retired politician Adi Finau Tabakaucoro has spent a lifetime advocating for the interests of indigenous Fijian women and girls. She is the current President of the largest women’s civil society organisation in Fiji; Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Viti, which works in the country’s 14 provinces on village, district and provincial matters as well as national development policies, programming, laws, regulations and services. A wide range of … Continue reading She introduced a “no discrimination” clause in the Fijian Constitution

Empowering adolescent girls in Tonga

Thirty-nine-year-old Vanessa Heleta has been a women’s rights activist in Tonga for more than a decade. As a young woman herself, she has made it her mission to empower adolescent girls through learning and awareness raising. Vanessa is the founder and Director of the Talitha Project, which runs a ‘drop-in centre’ for young women and girls in Tonga, providing security, counselling, training, income generation skills … Continue reading Empowering adolescent girls in Tonga

She fights for the LGBT community in the Pacific

As a transgender woman herself, Joey Joleen Mataele knows firsthand the struggles that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities face in her native Tonga and the greater Pacific region. As a singer and entertainer, she also understands the importance of oral culture and the role of song, humour and dance in Pacific cultures, which she has been using to elicit support … Continue reading She fights for the LGBT community in the Pacific

She promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights in Kiribati

Norma Yeeting is a sexual and reproductive health and rights champion in Kiribati, whose work has resulted in improvements in the lives of many I-Kiribati men and women. Norma is the executive director of Kiribati Family Health Association (KFHA), the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) NGO in Kiribati, where she heads up a team of 15, including clinical and professional staff. Under … Continue reading She promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights in Kiribati

Meet Andra Samoa, environmentalist from American Samoa

American Samoan environmentalist Andra Samoa walks the talk. “You will always find her cleaning the wetlands or picking up trash along the road and beaches in Leone,” says her friend and colleague Ginger Porter of the Pacific International Training Desk in Hawaii. “Andra is foremost a community organiser, educator and volunteer in her village of Leone on Tutuila, the main island in American Samoa,” says … Continue reading Meet Andra Samoa, environmentalist from American Samoa

Rosa Koian: fighting for village people against mining corporations in PNG

“There can be no sustainable development when rural women in their communities are frequently held under threat of displacement, or physical and sexual abuse.” Rosa Koian, Activist, Papua New Guinea Fifty-two-year-old Rosa Koian is a pioneering environmental and human rights activist in Papua New Guinea, where she’s been unafraid to fight for the rights of women and village people against exploitation by transnational corporations or extractive … Continue reading Rosa Koian: fighting for village people against mining corporations in PNG

She created the Savings Clubs of Solomon Islands: savings and lending with no banks

“We must not underestimate the cash earnings of rural women. Even though they do not earn a fortnightly salary, they earn a little money every day or every week. Through their earnings they feed and manage family livelihoods. Savings clubs recognize rural women’s earning power and help assist them to save little by little and watch their money grow”. Dr. Alice Pollard Dr Alice Pollard is … Continue reading She created the Savings Clubs of Solomon Islands: savings and lending with no banks

The woman who made Palau the only nuclear-free country in the world

The late Gabriela Ngirmang, Mirair of Koror, was instrumental in giving the world its first nuclear-free constitution. As  Mirair (leading woman for the eastern side of the state of Koror), Gabriela Ngirmang was the leader of Otil A Beluad (the Anchor of the Land) women’s organisation for 50 years. When she died at the age of 84 in 2007, she had been a central figure … Continue reading The woman who made Palau the only nuclear-free country in the world