Chuuk Women’s Council first ever campaign for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

By Vilimaina Naqelevuki, Pacific Women

‘The success of the campaign and all the great feedback we are receiving from the people of Chuuk, has uplifted the team’s spirits and energized them for 2021,’ said Christina “Kiki” Stinnett, President of Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC), Federated States of Micronesia.

‘This was the first time we’ve coordinated our 16 Days of Activism activities,’ she added.

The Chuuk Women’s Council, through its Tongen Inepwineu Counselling Center (TICC) counselling service, successfully carried out its first 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign despite facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and not having their President, Christina Stinnett present in-country. The 16 Days is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence, starting on 25 November with the International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence then ending 10 December with Human Rights Day.

‘I am so proud of the team and the way they have used events and other activities during 16 Days to really raise awareness about the need for us all to stop violence against women and girls,’ she said.

Over the course of the 16 Days, CWC carried out several outreach programs to communities and schools, was part of the state leadership summit, launched a COVID-19 ‘safety at home’ video animation, supported a family planning workshop, and other activities.

CWC held an outreach program in Penia for women about family safety, public health and other topics,  which was attended by The Honorable Lady Bersita Elimo, Chuuk State First Lady.

Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC), Tongen Inepwineu Counselling Center (TICC) staff with women from Penia during their outreach program for 16 Days. Photo Credit: Chuuk Women’s Council.

The Honorable First Lady encouraged the women attending the outreach to reach out to CWC and use its services, including the TICC’s range of services including telephone counseling.

For CWC staff, an important lesson learned from the community outreach sessions was to ensure that each member of CWC spoke during awareness session to increase engagement with the participants.

‘Through the community outreach we learned that our TICC staff need to speak more and join the discussions, as their involvement encourages the participating women to also join the conversation,’ said members of the TICC team.

‘For the schools, we found the students were very attentive to our talk sharing our TICC experiences.’ The  TICC team added.

A highlight for the team was the 16 Days closing event and launch of the ‘Staying Safe at Home’ video animation that addresses domestic and family violence which typically increases during times of crisis such as COVID-19.

CWC has taken a lead role in the production of the FSM version of the animation, working with Pacific Women and partners to ensure the script and illustrations are specific to Chuuk, as well as coordinating voiceover production so the video is in the Chuukese language.