Pacific Girl, a new initiative under Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women), focuses on adolescent girls’ needs, rights and opportunities. It works with civil society organisations in six Pacific Island countries and supports adolescent girls to make informed decisions about issues that matter most to them. It also engages with boys, parents, carers and communities to build more supportive environments for girls and young women.
Adolescent girls in Pacific Island countries share the challenges faced by adolescents in other parts of the world. But in the Pacific those challenges are compounded by the specific realities of life in small island states. Challenges adolescent girls face include:
- teen pregnancy, early or arranged marriage and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information;
- violence and abuse in the home and community, including sexual violence;
- bullying, including cyber bullying, negative peer pressure and body shaming;
- lack of access to education and employment; family expectations of unpaid care and domestic work;
- lack of voice and influence in their community and at national policy making levels; and
- culture, custom and beliefs that restrict the rights and abilities of girls.
Read more about these issues from Pacific girls’ perspectives here: https://pacificwomen.org/resources/about-pacific-girl/
Pacific Girl also convenes networking opportunities to learn from adolescent girls and allow participating civil society organisations to share lessons about what works.
Find out more about Pacific Girl: https://pacificwomen.org/stories-of-change/what-is-pacific-girl/
The next networking opportunity, the Pacific Girl Inception Workshop, will bring together adolescent girls, civil society organisations and the wider development community to plan future Pacific Girl activities, gain a better understanding of Pacific Girl projects in each of the program’s six focus countries and develop tools and processes to track progress.
The Pacific Girl Inception Workshop will comprise the following meetings: one-day Girls Pawa Toktok with adolescent girls from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu (22 October 2019); two-day Partners Meeting with selected civil society organisation partners from Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu (21-22 October 2019); and the Pacific Girl Regional Learning Network meeting (23-25 October 2019).
At the Regional Learning Network meeting over 70 participants, including adolescent girls, will learn and share what works and what does not work to empower adolescent girls. Adolescent girls will have prepared for the Regional Learning Network meeting at their Girls Pawa Toktok and their full participation will align with the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle. Their voices will be heard and they will be active decision makers on issues that affect them.
The Pacific Girl Inception Workshop will take place from 21–25 October 2019 in Suva, Fiji. For more information about the event, contact: Tara.Chetty@pacificwomen.org.fj