Dr. Lagi, Campus Director presenting at the IWD celebrations in Tuvalu.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tuvalu Campus hosted a celebration to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March 2019.
Initiated by Dr Rosiana Lagi, Tuvalu Campus Director, the event was organised to acknowledge the contribution of women in society and to motivate young girls to strive for success.
Seven significant female leaders in Tuvalu women were invited to speak to share their experiences and achievements as women. These women were Dr Lagi; Mrs Temukisa Hauma, President of Tuvalu National Council of Women (TNCW); Mrs Lanuola Fasiai, Director of Gender Department; Mrs Vasa Tuisiga, Director for Women in Maritime Association and first female Maritime Law Graduate; Mrs Ane Teilauea, the first Tuvalu lady to set up an educational institution; and two USP Tuvalu Campus female students, Ms Akelita Pesega and Ms Pasai Falasa.
The women spoke on issues like ‘Women in Education’; ‘Women in Maritime;’ ‘Women in Business’, and ‘Women’s life as students.’
With this year’s IWD theme as “Balance for Better,” Dr. Lagi spoke about the significant roles mothers play in the development of a child. She stated that education starts from conception hence it is vital that children are given the best parental care even before birth as this will impact on what the child becomes later on in life.
She acknowledged her own mother who contributed a lot to her achievements and encouraged the attendees to acknowledge their mothers and guardians for their sacrifice.
The other speakers shared similar sentiments, emphasising - the importance of the women’s roles and responsibilities in taking care of their families and island communities in various areas, especially the nurturing of the lives of their children to be good citizens in the future.
Mrs. Tuisiga mentioned that she enjoyed the event and felt a sense of recognition when asked to share her stories. She added that she is happy to be an inspiration to younger women and to encourage them to be involved in Maritime an area that includes a very important resource that we depend on for our livelihood – a source of food and income remittances.
The celebration was attended by Female primary and high school students in Funafuti with women from the community at USP Staff and students.
Dr. Lagi stated that it is important to acknowledge women as they are one of the most important contributors to nation building; they build the foundation of nation in their homes nurturing and teaching the young minds who later on in life lead communities and nations.
As such, women should also be treated with respect and care so that they can carry out their role effectively.
Ms. Falasa, the student speaker encouraged the young girls to work hard now when they have the opportunity and not wait until they get married and have children and come back to attend university with their children.
She added that from her experience, she finds it hard now working and trying to get a qualification since as a wife and working mother, she has many other responsibilities and has to try and juggle all her work load.
According to her, this could have been avoided if she had worked hard in her younger days when she was given the opportunity to study.
However, now that she is married with children, she is still determined to achieve the qualification she dreamt of acquiring when she was young. The celebration concluded with a feast acknowledging all women and participants at the celebration.
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