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Getting fit and learning new lessons for International Women’s Day

Wednesday 8 March 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Health, Local, National

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Getting fit and learning new lessons for International Women’s Day
Aka’uka Time’s “Inspirational Queens” – from left, Trish Tau, Curly Taripo, Vaine Tangaroa and Esther Strickland. SUPPLIED/23030715

Women wanting to get fit and get grooving have the opportunity to do so for free at the Tupapa Centre today.

The free dance event, which will be run by Aka’uka Time, is part of today’s celebrations for International Women’s Day.

The theme for the event is “embrace equity” and spot prizes are up for grabs for those who dress in purple.

Aka’uka Time founder Esther Strickland said this year’s celebration for International Women’s Day was the organisation’s second event hosted in collaboration with Bank of the Cook Islands.

“Together we want to raise awareness and bring about positive changes in the way women and girls are perceived and treated,” Strickland said.

“International Women’s Day means different things, but the global focus is to ‘Embrace Equity’ celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

“Together as part of this year’s initiative, Aka’uka Time is hosting a free one-hour dance fitness class for the community – which includes live drumming of beats of the Pacific from our Magic Boys.”

Strickland said there were several issues facing women today.

“In our society, domestic violence against women is slowly increasing and has become one of the leading problems against women in the Cook Islands and internationally,” she said.

“Cook Islands communities find these a sensitive issue that few women and young teenagers will speak about. I would like to advise our women to seek help and support from those around you and also Punanga Tauturu. We need to speak out, let our voices be heard, know our worth, and let no one treat us less than we deserve.”

The organisation was founded in 2020, with the intention of promoting dance fitness, weight-loss and keeping people active and motivated.

“Aka’uka Time’s purpose is to uplift a driving force for changes, we want to open doors, and create a safe environment for women and girls to be themselves, build confidence, find their purpose where women should be empowered to be leaders in our communities,” Strickland said.

The free fitness dancing event will take place at the Tupapa Centre today from 5pm to 6pm.

“We would like to acknowledge our proud sponsors Bank of the Cook Islands – Vaine Arioka and her team for their continued support towards our International Women’s Day celebration.”