Author Collaboration

Short bio: Theses articles are the fruit of collaborations between our editorial team and various official entities, such as the South Pacific Community for the "70 Inspiring Women" series.

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This geneticist collected 1,500 different taro crops from across the Pacific

Samoan Valerie Saena Tuia is a leading expert on plant genetic resources who has made significant contributions to advancing food security in the Pacific Islands region. She was the Curator and then Genetic Resources Coordinator of the Pacific Community’s Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in Fiji for over 15 years until early 2017. Ms Tuia has carried out pioneering scientific research, established the … Continue reading This geneticist collected 1,500 different taro crops from across the Pacific

Fighting for women’s rights in Tuvalu

Milikini Failautusi is a 27-year-old youth activist from Tuvalu working in the areas of youth, climate change, gender, human rights, indigenous rights, and sexual reproductive health and rights. As the coordinator of the Tuvalu National Youth Council, she advocates for Tuvaluan youth in the country’s development agenda, and also works closely with the Pacific Youth Council on issues facing Pacific’s young people at the regional level. … Continue reading Fighting for women’s rights in Tuvalu

She led the way for women in Tahitian politics

In 1976, Béatrice Vernaudon, then a young social worker, was selected to serve as French Polynesia’s representative at a Pacific Community (SPC) meeting in Suva to determine the course curriculum for the organisation’s Education and Training Centre. “That’s when I first developed political awareness by working alongside women committed to obtaining independence for their countries and by being criticized myself for the nuclear testing in … Continue reading She led the way for women in Tahitian politics

A blind fighter for social justice

She is not Daredevil, but still an exceptional role figure for all the people in the Pacific suffering for a disability. There have been many firsts in the life of 36-year-old Mataafa Faatino Utumapu, a totally blind woman from birth who is making inroads for disability rights in her native Samoa. In 2014, Mataafa led national advocacy work on the Washington Group Short Set of questions … Continue reading A blind fighter for social justice

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

She made French Polynesia a strong nation in athletics

Titaua Juventin is a long-serving and respected member of the athletics community in the Pacific. She has a broad background in teaching and coaching, having worked in teacher training with the Ministry of Education in Tahiti. Ms Juventin’s passion is athletics, especially with young people and children. She successfully adapted the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) Federation’s children’s program in Tahiti and also introduced a … Continue reading She made French Polynesia a strong nation in athletics

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

Paralyzed from birth, she wrote an award-winning book using a computer head pointer

Nathalie Heirani Salmon-Hudry is a writer whose inspiring work is bringing about positive change for people with disabilities in her native French Polynesia. She is the author of the moving autobiographical tale “Je suis née MORTE” (meaning “I was born DEAD” or “I was stillborn”) that she wrote using a computer head pointer. The book deals with “how you develop, how you grow up, how you … Continue reading Paralyzed from birth, she wrote an award-winning book using a computer head pointer