The National Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, and the National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2019 – 2024, aim to accelerate equality for all women in the Cook Islands.
The documents are set to be presented to Cabinet tomorrow.
“Although we don’t have government approval yet, we are confident it will be passed,” said Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAFF) secretary Anne Herman.
Herman was privileged and honoured to address the audience and proudly acknowledged Mii Manuela-Nimerota and Elizabeth Wright-Koteka who led the development of the two important policies.
“Today is a day to celebrate all women, and we also acknowledge the men who support us in our daily lives.
“Collectively everyone everywhere can strive for women’s equality and continue to make positive gains, this is not just the role of Internal Affairs and the women’s organisations, it is important that we all work together to make positive gains.”
“As women and mothers we must we must be weary of the power of our words upon our children, and use positive words of love and encouragement as our girls will one day become mothers, partners and wives and our boys, husbands and fathers.
“Let us remember the women that have blazed trails for us; and to build a civilisation of love,” said Herman.
Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA) secretary TeRiu Woonton welcomed the guests on behalf of acting president Niki Rattle who is presently overseas.
“Women around the world celebrate this day in many ways… building partnerships to support the challenge of achieving gender equality.
“We give thanks and highlight the evident gains with the most recent rise of the numbers of women elected to Parliament in our country.
“CIFWA would like to mark today as a call to action for the attainment of rights to health for girls and young people, access to health services, resources and preventative interventions.”
Executive director of CIFWA, Rongo File, spoke of sexual reproductive health rights and age of consent in relation to the rights of the child.
In the closing address, vice president of the National Council of Women (NCW), Henrica Wilson Marona said, “We are ready, these women of this nation. We are ready to embrace all types of women. Do not leave any women behind.”
“You are the flowers of this nation.”
MC on the day Naomi Manavaikai complimented the vibrant colours of the ei katu and pareu dresses the women wore “like a garden of flowers” and reminded those present that “in practising our rights, everything starts at home”.