“International Women’s Day should not be celebrated for only a day, but every day since we all have some woman in our lives who has given us life, education, inspiration, strength and a desire to do better,” says Dr Rajni Chand, CFL Director and chief guest during the USP International Women’s Day celebration on 8 March.
With the theme, ‘Choose to Challenge’, the day was celebrated with great enthusiasm at USP Oceania Centre, Laucala Campus
“Looking into history, women have made many bold decisions that have changed the world, said Dr Chand. “They have chosen to protect the environment, challenge how society operates and taken important decisions in their own lives,” she said.
Dr Chand made reference to the Chipko Andolan, a pioneering ecofeminism movement in India. In 1974 women had protested against rampant deforestation, that had led to a lack of firewood, fodder and water for drinking and irrigation. In 1987, the Chipko movement was awarded the Right Livelihood Award “for its dedication to the conservation, restoration and ecologically-sound use of India’s natural resources.”
Also present at the celebrations were Acting Vice-Chancellor and President (VCP), Dr Giulio Paunga and Mr Jone Nemani, Executive Director People and &Workforce Strategy.
Speaking to invited guests, Dr Paunga said “we all are here, through the Theme, to challenge the bias and stereotypes that exist in our society – to call out discrimination and take action for equality.”
The Acting Vice-Chancellor reflected on opportunities and struggles women face in pursuit of social and economic progress. He also remembered women who had made sacrifices for a better world.
Dr Paunga spoke about the good progress that had been made across the region to reduce gender inequality. He gave a special mention to women in the Pacific who had weaved change to inspire a better environment.”
The Association of The University of the South Pacific
Staff (AUSPS) and USPS Staff Union (USPSU) Women also celebrated women and their achievements with the theme ‘Women In Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in the Wake of COVID 19’ at the Postgraduate Lecture Theatre.
The AUSPS and USPSU Women acknowledged the significant contribution and achievements of women at USP.