In early October 2017, the World YWCA participated in the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Women, which took place in Suva, Fiji under the theme “Pacific Women’s economic empowerment”.
During the session, young women from the World YWCA and YWCA of Papua New Guinea successfully lobbied to amend two outcome documents, which originally excluded young women, to incorporate the following:
- An emphasis on young women as a separate stakeholder group,
- The application of all commitments irrespective of women’s sexual orientation and gender identity
- An mphasis on indigenous women, women with disabilities and rural women
- Commitments to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
- Commitments to suppor women human rights defenders
Following the conference, the World YWCA hosted a ‘Talanoa’ (conversation session) with international and Pacific-based civil society organisations to discuss the challenges young women in the Pacific face—from finding decent employment to addressing power structures to barriers to their human rights.
Dianne Goodwillie, long-term World YWCA and Pacific YWCAs volunteer, who also attended the conference highlighted; “I want to thank the World YWCA and in particular Juli Dugdale and Linnea Hakansson for the support given to two young women from the YWCA of Samoa and YWCA of PNG to attend and participate in the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women. You can see from the video made by DIVA Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji that this experience was an important learning experience for Masina Tietie and Naomi who are featured in the video. I also want to acknowledge what a great initiative and dedication these two young women and Linnea who attended from the World YWCA had and the contribution they made to both the meeting and Pacific Feminism”.