Technical support and capacity development in Tuvalu

The Tuvalu Government has acknowledged the commendable work of the DFAT funded Pacific Women’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Adviser, Natalie Makhoul, who has assisted with the implementation of women’s empowerment activities in Tuvalu.

Pacific Women Support Unit’s Senior Programs Manager, Hilary Gorman, visited Tuvalu recently to monitor the Unit’s activities, including the work of Ms Makhoul, who has been based with the Gender Affairs Department of the Office of the Prime Minister.

Tuvalu Gender Affairs Department staff and Gender and Social Inclusion Adviser, Natalie Makhoul (far right) meet with Pacific Women Support Unit, Senior Programs Manager Hilary Gorman (centre, holding Te-Ava-Nui).

Lupe Tavita, Acting Director of the Gender Affairs Division, told Ms Gorman that Ms Makhoul was a great asset.

“She has brought in different ideas to the Division and made a positive contribution on both policy matters and gender issues.”

Ms Gorman’s visit on November 25 coincided with Tuvalu’s celebration of White Ribbon Day- a day dedicated to addressing disability and gender-based violence.

Under the banner of ‘Together we can end gender-based violence in education’, skits were performed to highlight the discrimination and neglect of people living with disabilities, and the physical abuse of women and girls with disabilities.

Fusi Alofa, Tuvalu’s national organisation which advocates for people living with disabilities, chose the theme based on the findings of the recent Tuvalu Study on People with Disability, which reflected the heightened vulnerability of women and girls with disabilities.

Ms Gorman met with study partners, Fusi Alofa and the Department of Community Affairs, to finalise the study and discuss the study recommendations. Both the Tuvalu Study on People with Disability and the gender adviser role are supported by the Australian Government through the Pacific Women program.

The monitoring visit also provided an opportunity to meet with a range of stakeholders that the adviser works with in providing technical support and capacity development including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of the Attorney General and several civil society organisations – Tuvalu National Council of Women, Tuvalu Red Cross and Tuvalu Family Health Association.