9 Mar 2004

New book celebrates Pacific women who fought for equal rights

11:07 am on 9 March 2004

A new book paying tribute to Pacific women who have paved the way for gender equality and human rights, was launched yesterday in Suva .

The book, entitled Profiles of Pacific Women, has 36 stories about successful women from twelve Pacific countries.

They include Aggie Grey from Samoa, Cook Islander Paddy Walker, Grace Mera Molisa from Vanuatu and Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho from Tonga.

The project was put together by the inter-agency taskforce on gender in the Pacific.

A UNIFEM spokesperson, Anna Stone, says they chose women from different countries and sectors, who had overcome barriers to be successful.

She says one of the challenges was convincing Pacific women to be in it.

"I think it was also convincing the women to do it. I think Pacific women are quite humble and perhaps reluctant. Especially, I'm told that some women went to the women they wanted to profile to write the story on, and they declined saying no, no, no, I haven't really done anything that's really worth writing about, but of course they have."

Anna Stone says other challenges were contacting relevant networks in the different countries, and deadlines.

The book was launched yesterday as part of International Women's Day celebrations.