International Women’s Day – Tuvalu celebrates women’s contribution to food security

Media Release: Gender Affairs Department (GAD), Government of Tuvalu 

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, Tuvalu celebrated women’s significant contribution to food security.

In his statement, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Honorable Kausea Natano, acknowledged: ‘Day-in day out, they [women] cultivate, collect fruits and seashells, fish, process and store food, add value to produce, sell, cook, feed. They prepare food for the children, the elders, the husbands, the workers, the communities, to sustain, celebrate, mourn, welcome, say farewell, and share.’

Gender Affairs Department (GAD) Acting Director, Mr Sokotia Kulene, reported: ‘COVID-19 and the State of Emergency generated many uncertainties, and people were concerned about how they would be able to feed their family.’

‘We chose to challenge gender stereotypes and acknowledge that women are not only “helping” their husband; they produce food or generate incomes to purchase food.

‘This is in addition to preparing meals that cater to family members tastes and diets,’ Mr Kulene said.

A morning Church service was organised on 5 March by the Tuvalu Women’s Church Council to commemorate International Women’s Day to which more than 80 people attended.

On 8 March, Live and Learn, Tuvalu Red Cross, the Tuvalu National Council of Women and the Department of Agriculture were part of a roundtable on women’s contribution to food security in the context of COVID-19 organised by the Gender Affairs Department and attended by 40 people. The participants shared about women’s knowledge and skills that meaningfully support the food security of their family.

In the afternoon, the National Council of Women organised a Food and Handicraft bazaar to celebrate women’s skills, and a healthy cooking contest was organised.

‘It is important to celebrate what women do. Cooking is done every day, but we tend to forget it while we all enjoy a good meal. But sometimes we also enjoy too much.  We wanted to promote healthy cooking to show that a healthy meal can be tasty and enjoyable,’ said the Director of the Tuvalu National Council of Women (TNCW).

Contact: Gender Affairs Department (GAD), Government of Tuvalu