Meet the founder of Voice for Change, fighting against ending violence to women and girls

Lilly Kolts Be’Soer is a women’s rights defender and advocate for the political, economic and social empowerment of women in her native Papua New Guinea. She hails from Jiwaka Province in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Lilly is the founder and director for Voice for Change (VFC), a provincial NGO based and working in Jiwaka Province. Voice for Change focuses on ending violence against … Continue reading Meet the founder of Voice for Change, fighting against ending violence to women and girls

The watchdog of women’s rights in Solomon Islands

Ethel Falu Sigimanu has been instrumental in advancing gender equality and women’s human rights in the Solomon Islands. She is one of the longest-serving permanent secretaries in the Solomon Islands government, having spent the past 10 years with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs. During this time, she has taken leadership and has been influential in the work towards the passage of … Continue reading The watchdog of women’s rights in Solomon Islands

The midwife who became the fist woman in government in Wallis and Futuna

Esitele Fuluhea Lakalaka knows firsthand the struggles of women in her native Wallis and Futuna. She began her career at a young age in the late 60s in the French territory’s health sector, firstly as a secretary and interpreter, then as a midwife delivering births at Sia Hospital, then finally as an management executive at the hospital. Ms Lakalaka then became interested in public affairs … Continue reading The midwife who became the fist woman in government in Wallis and Futuna

Patricia Imrana Jalal, lawyer and gender advocate

Patricia Imrana Jalal is a Fijian lawyer and gender advocate, who served as a Human Rights Commissioner on the Fiji Human Rights Commission, as a Fiji Law Reform Commissioner,  and as Human Rights Advisor to the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the United Nations Development Program. She is a Commissioner on the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, to which she was elected in … Continue reading Patricia Imrana Jalal, lawyer and gender advocate

“It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

Reverend Sereima Lomaloma is an advocate for gender equality and the elimination of violence against women and children in Fiji and the Pacific, advocating through the Anglican church, House of Sarah and and other faith-based organisations since the early 2000s. For this portrait, she told the SPC that “It’s time for the church to also speak out against the injustices in society, violence in all … Continue reading “It is time for the church to speak out against the injustices in society”

She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu

Mary is the coordinator and a founding member of Mamma’s Laef, a social enterprise run by six ni-Vanuatu women in Port Vila. Mamma’s Laef sew washable sanitary pads that they distribute to communities across Vanuatu, where women often do not have access to menstrual hygiene management products, instead using old cloth or other unreliable and unhygienic substitutes and missing days of work and school as … Continue reading She created a line of women products for rural communities in Vanuatu

This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a second-generation Fijian women’s rights advocate working at the intersection of gender and media. Following a successful high-profile career as a radio and television producer and presenter in Fiji, she helped establish femLINKpacific in 2000 as a regional women-led media organisation that advocates for Pacific women as decision makers in the long-term transformation of their respective island countries. In 2004, femLINK … Continue reading This journalist created a trans-Pacific women-media organisation

This Cook Islands parliamentarian is a champion of democracy in the Pacific

Niki Rattle was first appointed Speaker of Parliament of the Cook Islands in 2012, then reappointed in 2014. Her role is to ensure that the functions of parliament are carried out in accordance with the constitution, and the standing orders and procedures of parliament. Upholding the integrity and dignity of the House of Parliament is a critical part of Ms Rattle’s role. Ms Rattle is … Continue reading This Cook Islands parliamentarian is a champion of democracy in the Pacific

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

Janet Sape, PNG champion of women’s rights

When Janet Sape died late July at the age of 58, the Pacific region lost one its best-known advocates on women’s issues, particularly on the need for economic empowerment and financial freedom. She was the founder and Executive Director of PNG Women in Business. As a Director on the Board of Women’s Microbank, Janet was instrumental in establishing the organisation – the first microfinance institution … Continue reading Janet Sape, PNG champion of women’s rights