Many women gathered at the Davina House to mark and celebrate the 101st year of the International Women Day.
The day started with a prayer led by Sr. Keiti Ann Kanongata’a. The day was blessed with the presence of His Honorable, Lord Vaea, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries.
Also present were the Minister of Education, Women Affairs and Culture, Dr. ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki, Their Excellencies Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Mr. Thomas Roth and New Zealand High Commissioner, Dr. Jonathan Austin. There were Heads of Government Ministries, Civil Society Organizations and NGO’s also representatives of women groups from the community.
The theme for this year was “Stepping up the security of women and girls.” The program included speakers who were the Solicitor General, Mr. ‘Aminiasi Kefu and Ms. Siale ‘Ilolahia, the Director General of the Civil Society Forum.
Both speeches supported the theme. ‘Aminiasi talked about the Government’s commitment and initiatives with regards to the theme and stressed the “importance of collaboration and working together to address the issues of women and girls.”
Siale agreed by saying that “we have to start the stepping up of security in our own homes.”
The Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Thomas Roth also launched the UN Women Pacific Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women which Aus-Aid is the major donor of the project. He said that “gender equality is a priority to the Australian Government” thus recognizing the importance and crucial roles women plays in development.
Representatives from WCCC were Senior Counselor, Mrs. Leti Siliva and Community Education Trainer, Mrs. Lesila To’ia.