Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community

Nurturing Regional Dialogue on Women’s Empowerment and Organic Agriculture at the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

Posted On: May 6, 2021

Litia Kirwin virtually presenting in POETCom side event

There is no one solution, neither one recommendation. A concerted commitment and efforts by all key Value Chains stakeholders, at different levels, is needed to create a transformative change towards women’s economic empowerment and gender equality while addressing existing and persisting inequalities and development concerns.

This is one of the key recommendations from the Side Event Women of the Land and the Sea – economically empowering women across agriculture and fisheries value chains in the Pacific Region co-hosted by POETCom on 27th April at the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women.

The Triennial Conference is a Pacific regional inter-governmental process that brings together policy decision-makers and representatives from Departments/Divisions/Ministries for Women, development partners, research/academic institutions, private sector and civil society from the 22 Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) of the Pacific Community (SPC) to review and analyse the progress in the implementation of the Pacific Platform for Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) in the past 25 years. The 3 key priorities for this year were (1) gender responsive climate justice, (2) women’s economic empowerment and (3) gender-based violence.

Teriko virtually presenting on side eventSPC Land Resources Division POETCom and its members, Litia Kirwin from Loving Islands and Terikano Beriki from Rabi Organics, together with its partners, SPC divisions Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems division (FAME) Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) and Human Rights Social Development; partner organisations Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON), UN Women, UNDP Pacific, Wildlife Conservation Society and WorldFish hosted an exciting event bringing together stories from the region focusing on mainstreaming gender in value chain development to create an efficient and inclusive value chain interventions that support women’s economic empowerment within agricultural and fisheries sectors.

Specifically, the POETCom members shared stories of women’s empowerment addressing the key principles of Pacific Organic Agriculture: Health; Ecology; Fairness, Care, Culture and Traditions. Those stories highlight the need and importance of applying an integrated and cross sectoral approach by bringing agricultural-related issues into the gender space while acknowledging the organic sector as a key area for women’s empowerment.

The Side Event was also a great example of successful collaboration and partnership leveraging a wide complement of experience, knowledge, and resources of partners to spur an inclusive transformation of agricultural and fisheries sectors in the Pacific.

The 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the 7th Women’s Ministerial Meeting was held from 27th to 29th April and on 4th May, respectively. Hosted by French Polynesia, this year’s conference and ministers meeting was delivered via a blended approach of in-person and virtual interaction given that travel restrictions are still being observed across the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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