23 Mar 2018

Tongan women highlighted in stories of resilience post-cyclone Gita

11:12 am on 23 March 2018

A series of articles on the resilience of Tongan women during and after Cyclone Gita aims to highlight the importance of gender equality in decision making.

The personal accounts of women in rural areas of Nuku'alofa and 'Eua are being published online by the Tongan Women and Children's crisis centre.

Its director Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said most of the planning and decision making in Tonga was done by men.

But she argues the resilience and vision shown by so many Tongan women during and after the devastation wrought by Gita makes a strong case for change.

"So I think regardless of who has a official title like a town officer title or a district officer title, what these stories show is that the women are able to contribute and are able to participate in the rebuilding of the community. So why not invite them to participate in that decision making space," she questions.

'Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki

Photo: RNZI/Koro Vaka'uta