18 Jun 2015

Tongan women activists celebrated

7:56 am on 18 June 2015

An American photojournalist is featuring young Tongan women addressing domestic violence in a new book celebrating female activists around the world.

The National Shield of Tonga

The National Shield of Tonga Photo: RNZI

Paola Gianturco spent a week in Tonga, observing six youths involved in the Talitha Development Project.

Ms Gianturco says her book, scheduled for 2017 release, will feature activists aged under 18 from 15 countries, including Tonga and New Zealand.

She says the Talitha women were making in impact, particularly through a weekly radio call which took anonymous calls and questions off-air.

"Girls who were hosting essentially rephrase the stories but they have quite a following. Perhaps in an hour they may have as many as 28 texts or calls from children who want to talk about the issues."

Ms Gianturco says the Talitha Project is doing important work, because violence against girls and women is a real issue and they have found a way to talk about it, educate and help each other.