The poet from Solomon Islands who breaks social taboos

Sixty-four-year-old Solomon Islander Jully Makini Purcell could not have been a more fitting recipient of the 2017 International Woman of Courage Award from the United States Secretary of State, which she received in June. For several decades now, Jully has been courageously speaking out on issues that have long been considered taboo in her country such as violence against women and children. A published writer … Continue reading The poet from Solomon Islands who breaks social taboos

Takiora Ingram: an artist and a social fighter

Takiora Ingram has made significant contributions to improving the status of women in her native Cook Islands and the wider Pacific region over the last 40 years. She has been an effective leader in establishing public policy for improved marine resource management, and promoting Pacific Island visual and performing arts and artists, in her roles as Chair of the Pacific Islands Arts Committee of Creative … Continue reading Takiora Ingram: an artist and a social fighter

Isabelle Tyuienon: the New Caledonian teacher who married tradition and modernity

For several decades now, 57-year-old former school teacher Isabelle Tyuienon has defended and promoted women’s rights in her native New Caledonia. Hailing from Canala commune in the Northern Province where she still resides, Isabelle has rallied women in her community to take on issues such as alcohol abuse and sexual violence. Ms Tyuienon was instrumental in the creation of a women’s federation in her province … Continue reading Isabelle Tyuienon: the New Caledonian teacher who married tradition and modernity

The anthropologist who dedicated her life to keep Palauan culture alive

The late Katharine Kesolei, or Kathy as she was better known, devoted more than 30 years of her life to the cultural, educational and economic advancement of the Palauan people. “In today’s world, people are beginning to reconsider these indigenous cultures. They now realize that this ‘white’ society that imposes some of their values on us is a kind of oppression…I’m not saying it in … Continue reading The anthropologist who dedicated her life to keep Palauan culture alive

The Fijian Women’s National Rugby team shows the men how it’s done

The Fijian Women’s National Rugby Team Fijiana made history in 2016 when they became the first women’s rugby team from the Pacific region to qualify for the Rio Olympics. They were only one of 12 national teams in the world to qualify to complete in the women’s rugby sevens competition at Rio despite facing countless adversities to get there. Fijiana’s journey is representative of women’s … Continue reading The Fijian Women’s National Rugby team shows the men how it’s done

Portrait of Yoslyn Sigrah, women’s right advocate in Micronesia

Yoslyn Sigrah has dedicated her life’s work to the recognition of women’s and children’s rights in the Federated States of Micronesia. A longtime advocate for gender issues in Micronesia, Yoslyn has taken on the lack of elected women in politics, in government and parliament, and violence against women and girls.  She was instrumental in the passing of the Family Protection Act in Kosrae in 2014, … Continue reading Portrait of Yoslyn Sigrah, women’s right advocate in Micronesia

Kiki Stinner: Entrepreneur and woman leader from Micronesia

As President of the Chuuk Women’s Council, Christina (or as she is better known “Kiki”) Stinnett leads an umbrella organisation of more than 60 women’s organisations in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Founded in the late 1980s, CWC runs programs to inform, educate, and empower women of all ages on a wide range of topics. CWC promotes gender issues such as women’s leadership, education … Continue reading Kiki Stinner: Entrepreneur and woman leader from Micronesia

Cook Islands considers legalizing homosexuality

A new bill has been proposed by the Cook Islands government to remove provisions banning “indecent acts” between two men and “consensual sodomy”, with prison terms of between five and seven years, from the Cook Islands’ 1969 Crimes Act. Although convictions are rare, according to Radio NZ, “The Solicitor General, David James, says the new bill makes laws suitable for the modern era, and means people will no longer be locked … Continue reading Cook Islands considers legalizing homosexuality

Police loses 4 kg of marijuana in Tonga

According to the newspaper Matangi Tonga, the police of Tonga “lost” 3.8 kg of cannabis. The unusual accident was revealed at the trial of the owner of the confiscated cannabis on July the 27th. According to the newspaper, “The prosecutor told the court the exhibits had been lost during the refurbishment of the police station, when they were removed to the Longolongo Police Station.” The photos … Continue reading Police loses 4 kg of marijuana in Tonga

This film-maker changes Tongan society by telling its sad stories

Women’s rights activist and filmmaker ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki believes in the power of story-telling, even when they’re not feel good stories. By daring to tell the harrowing stories of real life survivors of violence against women and girls (VAWG), she has made this pressing issue hard to ignore in her native Tonga and brought about change in the face of strident opposition. “When one chooses to … Continue reading This film-maker changes Tongan society by telling its sad stories