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Issue 18 - October 2018

Pacific Women E-News provides readers with information and updates on Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development - an Australian Government program focused on improving gender equality and women's empowerment across the Pacific. Catch up on what you missed in the last edition of Pacific Women E-News here

News | From Pacific Women

Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child
Pacific Women highlighted the voices of adolescent girls and the visions they have for the Pacific as part of celebrations on 11 October for International Day of the Girl Child. The messages shared were developed following the Priority Setting Meeting and Regional Stakeholders’ Dialogue for the Pacific Girl project earlier this year.
View the posts here and here or read more about the event.
What we can learn from women human rights defenders in Bougainville?
Women human rights defenders face unique risks that are specific to their gender and driven by deep-rooted discrimination against women. Despite the work they undertake to support others, many women human rights defenders are not recognised in their communities for their leadership and contributions. These insights, and more lessons learned, are now available as a learning brief produced by International Women’s Development Agency.  Read more.
Find out more about Pacific Women’s partnerships in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville
Nauru Country Plan launched
During the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Nauru, Australia’s Assistant Minister for International Development, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, launched the 2018–2020 Gender Country Plan for Nauru under Australia’s Pacific Women program. Read more.
Find out more about Pacific Women’s partnerships in Nauru.
Why are there no women in Papua New Guinea’s Parliament?
Papua New Guinea has a history of extremely low rates of political representation by women. Only seven women have been elected to national parliament in over 40 years; and no women were elected to the 111-seat parliament in 2017. To shed light on the barriers to women winning elections, researcher Dr Kerryn Baker spoke with a group of unsuccessful candidates from the 2017 national poll and examined the impact of the introduction of a limited preferential voting system. Read more.
Assessment of violence against women services and gaps report launched
The Australian Government has launched an Assessment of Eliminating Violence against Women Services and Gaps in Services Report in the Federated States of Micronesia. It follows a previous national Family Health and Safety Study in 2014, supported by the Australian Government, which identified a national average in FSM of one in three women experiencing partner violence in their lifetime.
Read more about the launch or read the report. Find out more about Pacific Women’s partnerships in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Researching the causes of maternal mortality
Research around the high levels of maternal mortality in Papua New Guinea was the focus of a recent ‘Lunch and Learn’ event hosted by the Pacific Women Support Unit in Port Moresby. Jennifer Litau, a Senior Lecturer at Pacific Adventist University, presented on recent research conducted in the Gulf Province by a team of academics, health professionals and development partners.
Read more
The report of the latest Pacific Women Advisory Board meeting is now available
The Advisory Board provides advice on the strategic direction of Pacific Women and assists in connecting the program with other influential leaders in the Pacific and advocating to support gender equality in the Pacific.
Read more about the Advisory Board or read the report. 
Pictured: The Pacific Women Advisory Board in attendance at the July 2018 meeting with Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. Back row, left to right: Ms Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Ms Lesieli Taviri, Ms Maere Tekanene, Reverend Sereima Lomaloma, Ms Jane Kesno, Mrs Merilyn Tahi. Front row, left to right: Ms Natalia Palu Latu, Hon. Dr. Sharman Stone, Hon. Niki Rattle. Photo credit: Pacific Women Support Unit.

Resources | From Pacific Women

Ten things learned about sorcery accusations and related violence
Violence related to accusations of sorcery is a serious problem in Papua New Guinea. It can lead to economic disempowerment, poor health, insecurity and persecution, including torture and murder, particularly for women. 
Miranda Forsyth from the Australian National University presented on: ‘Ten things we have learnt about sorcery accusations and related violence in Papua New Guinea’ at the 2018 State of the Pacific conference on 11 September, in Canberra, Australia.
Find the presentation here.
FemiliPNG’s October e-news
A new case management centre has opened in Port Moresby as part of the Bel Isi project. The 5-year project, managed by the Oil Search Foundation and supported by Australia’s Pacific Women program in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, is a public-private partnership that aims to galvanise the private sector to play a leadership role in changing attitudes towards family and sexual violence. The Bel Isi project also aims to improve services for survivors of violence. 
Read about the centre’s launch and other stories about Femili PNG’s work in Papua New Guinea to support survivors of family and sexual violence here.

Resources | From the Region and the World

 Global sexual health study for young persons with disabilities
Young Persons with Disabilities: Global Study on Ending Gender-based Violence and Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights contains new qualitative, global research.
This study provides an analysis of the situation of young persons with disabilities concerning discrimination and gender-based violence, including the impact on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. 
It also provides an assessment of legal, policy and programming developments and examples of good practices in service delivery, as well as best-standard prevention and protection measures. This includes an analysis of the Pacific Islands Forum’s Pacific Framework on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Pacific Disability Forum’s Toolkit on Eliminating Violence against Women with Disabilities in Fiji. 
Read the report.
Supporting access and participation in education for all girls and boys in Kiribati
The Kiribati Education Improvement Program (KEIP) is focused on ensuring all children in Kiribati have access to quality schooling. Now in its third phase, KEIP will continue to support basic education reform in Kiribati.
This phase of the program supports access and participation in education for all girls and boys in Kiribati. The program recently released snapshot factsheets about:
Menstrual Hygiene Management in Kiribati schools and why boys drop out of school.
Read about Pacific Women's partnerships in Kiribati.

Upcoming Events

International Children’s Rights Day
20 November 2018
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
25 November – 10 December
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
25 November 2018
International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
29 November 2018
World AIDS Day
1 December 2018
International Day for Persons with Disability
3 December 2018
International Volunteers Day
5 December 2018
Human Rights Day
10 December 2018
Learn more about Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development

To get a better picture of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program and how it works, check out our video.

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