Niue’s clerk trained to promote gender equality in the parliament

Project Name: Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships project
Project Partner: International and Community Relations Office, Department of the House of Representatives
Total Funding: $2,850,03715  (This activity is part of a larger program)
Funding timeframe: 2013-2018

Pacific clerks and senior parliamentary staff attended the Outrigger Facilitators’ workshop in Canberra, Australia in November 2016. The Outrigger training program on navigating gender equality through Pacific parliaments, invokes the imagery of a boat that is well equipped to sail the seas of Oceania. Ms Ngatu Tukutama, the Executive Officer from the Niue Parliament, was aboard.

The Outrigger program promotes a message of respecting and upholding gender equality in Pacific parliaments. The workshop prepared parliamentary staff to deliver the training program in their own parliaments. It is part of the Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships project that aims to improve understanding of the factors that constrain women’s political participation. The project responds by building the capacity of women members of parliament in the Pacific, the institutions in which they work, and the staff who support them.

Ms Tukutama was one of 27 participants from 13 Pacific Island countries who attended the three-day workshop. This high turnout reflects the commitment of Pacific clerks to rolling out the program in their own parliaments.

Participants at the Outriggers Facilitators Workshop in Canberra. Photo Credit: PWPP

Staff from the Australian Parliament, including the Parliamentary Education Office, trained Ms Tukutama and her colleagues. The workshop supported participants to strengthen their training and facilitation skills, such as presentation style, voice skills, and how to ask questions that will get answers. Each participant was then assigned a part of the Outrigger training to present to their peers using the Outrigger Facilitator’s Guide. They were supported by coaching and feedback from Parliamentary Education Office staff.

Pacific clerks first trialled the Outrigger program at the Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships project meeting in Wellington, New Zealand in October 2015. This second workshop trained the clerks and parliamentary staff to deliver the Outrigger program, and to train others to present it. It was held in response to requests from the clerks to develop specific facilitation skills, noting the sensitive and challenging nature of the discussions that the Outrigger program aims to provoke.

Pacific clerks and parliamentary staff are now well equipped to be advocates for gender equality in their workplaces and national parliaments, and to promote gender quality as a benefit for all.

*This Story of Change was originally published in the Pacific Women Annual Progress Report 2016 – 2017. All values are consistent with that reporting period. For the most up-to-date value of activities, visit our interactive map.