International Women’s Day (IWD) is globally commemorated every year on March 8. This day has been dedicated to celebrating the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women. It is a day of reflection highlighting critical women’s rights issues and priorities. This day also marks a call to action for addressing existing and persisting inequalities and accelerating women’s rights and gender equality.
On this day, POETCom released it’s very first factsheet detailing the Pacific’s Organic Stands for Gender Equality. Further to this, with the 2021 theme of #choosetochallenge POETCom shared posts and stories on its website, social media and targeted platforms to share #choosetochallenge messages against the stereotyping of women within the agricultural sector. We also celebrated the achievements and impacts of our women actors of change making waves in farming, science fields, in agribusiness and at the workplace .POETCom also took this date to reaffirm its commitment to effecting gender equality through the implementation of its 5-year strategic plan.
Land Resources Division of the SPC’s very first woman Director, Karen Mapusua said that “the POETCom 2021-2025 Strategic Plan places emphasis on Gender and Social Inclusion, implying a ground-breaking approach in agricultural strategy. The plan marks a new important milestone in terms of gender mainstreaming into the organic agriculture sector in the Pacific and includes specific recommended actions to guide POETCom, its partners and Pacific governments for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of Pacific women and girls”.
These best practices are generating discussions and inspiring actions in terms of gender mainstreaming across LRD programmes and the Pacific agricultural sector in general.
In addition, POETCom also participated at the launch of the Pacific Handbook for Gender Equity and Social Inclusion in Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture – organised by the SPC Fisheries Aquaculture Marine and Ecosystem (FAME) Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme; and at a ‘walk with her’ activity organised by SPC Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD), sharing experiences of women working within the SPC organisation.
These activities were supported by the Building prosperity for women producers, processors and women owned business (BPWP) project, an Australian Government funded project with POETCom.
Through these activities POETCom and the wider SPC had the opportunity to socialise with Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) issues and have more open and frank conversations on how the region can progress gender equality and choose to challenge inequalities that exist for Pacific women and girls.
It is hoped that a deeper awareness and knowledge can lead to more inclusive and gender transformative interventions on the ground. Indeed, while IWD is a day where we celebrate the achievements and progresses made – it is also a call to action. A call to action for everyone to push for the elimination of violence against women, to push for gender equality and protection of all women and girls. Let’s all #choosetochallenge inequalities that exists for Pacific women and girls in all their diversities.