HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 574:27 July 2011

Women the powerhouse of the nation

On Monday afternoon the high level delegation from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors was hosted by the President of the Cook Islands National Council of Women (CINCW), Vaine Wichman and leading members of affiliated women’s organizations and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) at CINCW headquarters in Takuvaine.
The ADB delegation comprised; Executive Directors Mr Yingming Yang,Maurin Sitorus and Chaiyuth Sudthitanakom, alternative Executive Directors Gaudencio Hernandez Jnr and Bounleua Sinxayvolavong and Maria Melei from the ADB office in Suva.
In her address to the guests, Wichman said;
“I believe that this visit to our council headquarters confirms the Bank’s interest to develop the channels of communication and support between us as we work to address the issues of widening gaps, social equity and justice, and poverty.
Our Council has been in existence since 1967. In 1981, the Cook Islands National Council of Women (CINCW) was formalized to move on from the work of our pioneering women and has been the main vehicle for representing women’s voices and concerns and finding ways to resolve them.
The 27 affiliate members of the Council span broad family, community, island, national and international development agendas and affiliations. Some of the President’s attending with me today represent organizations that deal with a wide range of social issues ranging from: health and welfare of child, mother and women’s health, youth and sexual reproductive health, mental health concerns, elderly care giving; representing and addressing the needs of the disabled, providing safe havens and pushing for stronger legislation and practices against those that hit their children and women; and progressing a more gender responsive and equal society.”
Wichman said the Council applauded the ADB Boards support for important investment areas in the country but respectfully asked that it also considered the investment from a woman’s perspective. The ADB Board responded to the National Women’s Council with full support for the rights of women to be heard in governance activities and that funds would also be given to support the work of the group. In the interest of social equity and eradicating poverty, in the Cook Islands case this means improving our people’s access to opportunities. A poverty of opportunity exists here for us women commented one Council member.
The CINCW believes that investing in large infrastructure programs and economic financial recovery packages must always be balanced with investment also in the “Cinderella” projects, such as women’s handicrafts and its integration into the Cook Islands tourism marketing sector and rejuvenating agriculture and livestock production for the Rarotonga market that allows incomes and investments in the Cook Islands. “These Cinderella projects cement the grace of our island culture and hospitality and the significance of our island living into the fabric of the Cook Islands national pride. We must undertake them hand in hand.” said Council President, Vaine Wichman
“The Cook Islands National Women’s Councils philosophy is that women are the home life and powerhouse of the nation. To maintain this strong hold, we work to ensure their safety, and their access to services and opportunities. “Said Wichman.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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