Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

Sashi Kiran is the trailblazing founder and chief executive officer of a grassroots not-for-profit that provides economic opportunities for underserved communities in Fiji. She started Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development, or FRIEND as it is better known, after Fiji’s 2000 political crisis to create income generating opportunities for women and men from rural and peri-urban settlements and villages, youth and people with special … Continue reading Sashi Kiran’s tale of livelihood development in rural Fiji

Meet Neta, a scientist from Tonga who united the Pacific islands against climate change

As the former director of the Climate Change Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for the past seven and a half years, Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, or Neta as she is widely known, led Pacific Island efforts in tackling the single most pressing issue facing the region today. She brought over 20 years of experience in climate change, coastal management and … Continue reading Meet Neta, a scientist from Tonga who united the Pacific islands against climate change

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

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