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Celebrating women who lead the way in sustainability

Thursday 10 March 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Celebrating women who lead the way in sustainability
The speakers at the International Woman’s Day event held at the Muri Beach Club Hotel on Tuesday night. From left, Jaime Short, Justine Flanagan, Dr Christina Newport, Tessa Vaetoru and Ana Tiraa. PHOTO: MELINA ETCHES/22030901

Five inspiring women have shared their perspectives on climate change and building a sustainable future at a dinner organised by the Cook Islands Business and Professional Women’s Association (BPW) on Tuesday, in celebration of International Woman’s Day.

A number of people attended the special evening held at the Muri Beach Club Hotel to listen to and support the presentations from Dr Christina Newport, Justine Flanagan, Tessa Vaetoru, Jaime Short and Ana Tiraa.

Introducing the women, the BPW president Dr Debi Futter-Puati said these women have undertaken complex work in the space of climate change and sustainability and lead not only the Cook Islands in sustainability, but often represent non-government organisations (NGOs) or Government on the world stage in their specialist spaces.

“Each of these women contributes from different contexts and yet their speeches contained recurring themes of utilising Indigenous knowledge, connectivity, reciprocity and that we all have responsibilities to act in challenging gender bias and the dominant discourses.

“To do this Pacific people must be involved in all the conversations to ‘flip the script and control the narrative’, said Newport.

The presenters are often heard on the international stage and yet, as locals, the people here rarely get the chance to hear our own, she said.

“BPW wanted to change that, and we feel last (Tuesday) evening was a sensational success in that locals were able to listen and learn as they shared their knowledge and wisdom on our own motu.”

  • More from the International Woman’s Day event in Saturday’s edition