This week I'm in Port Vila with the ActionAid Vanuatu team:
It is for a 5 day follow up to the November 2018 Women I Toktok Tugeta - Women Wetem Weather workshop supported by ActionAid Australia and DFAT.
This week we have been taking a step forward with a core group of women leaders to localise an appropriate accessible inter-operable information-communication platform in consultation with Vanuatu NDMO and the Meteorological service as well as Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation and Digicel Vanuatu.
This is all part of the collaboration across the Pacific via the Shifting the Power Coalition.
So what does #shiftingthepower mean?
It means creating the space for initial learning with the national broadcaster and member of the Vanuatu Communications cluster - VBTC where women's leadership, knowledge, information and stories are affirmed as important content for national programmes.It's giving women information on broadcast transmission systems and advising them why information needs to be accurate.
It means working together as a team to prepare the representatives of WomenITokTokTugetha to appear on live television talkback show and share the vision of WomenWetemWeta.
It means listening to the WITTT representatives share what the information, training and visits have meant to them and how they are using the information to inform the development of their#local #WomenWetemWeta inter-operable system.
What does #shiftingthepower mean?
It means giving women of all diversities the space - to learn together. To develop information & messages, to communicate.
We created an action-learning session with radio and television broadcasters from VBTC. In the session with Digicel Vanuatu the young women representatives assisted the participants understand mobile phone infrastructure to better plan their use of SMS during humanitarian#disasters as well as promote women's voice, choices & leadership to subscribers.
#shiftingthepower also means giving women pen, paper and the time to share their stories in their local language as well as English. It was an opportunity for this group of diverse women to also learn about women-led online spaces like World Pulse that provides an opportunity to share their stories with the world:
Fiona Robin, 28 years old, Eton Village: The exciting part of this workshop is we were so fortunate to have attended some important places, so that they will recognise us in what we were doing inside our communities, inside Vanuatu and outside Vanuatu. Through WITTT we have the opportunities to experience and learn about different atmospheres,. For example places to stay, to sleep, different foods and other ways of thinking
Amanda Willy, 26 years, Efate/Eton: The importance of joining WITTT/WWW is because women in our community will know that there is someone there (who) which they can access information from when there is a disaster coming and also update (of) every day weather focus. The interesting part of the training is I enjoy the site visits we did. Even though the training is very technical we will try to do the best we can in collecting every information we can so that we can share the idea with women in the community.Hellen Jimmy, 29 years, Eton: To get information to help all women, young girls, and girls with disability and community as a whole to be well prepared before, during and after disaster
Esther, 38 years, Tanna: The reason for joining the WITTT network is because it’s the only place where I feel empowered. Through the WITTT network I come to join WWW and know how different types of government sectors like VanMeteo, NDMO and VBTC (are) working together to give out information to the public about weather and how WWW can help reach the community and provide feedback. The interesting thing about WWW is the site visit we did and the most interesting part is when we had the talkback show live on TV and radio (yesterday)
Melia David, 43 years old, Tanna: It is also helped to educate us and also to educate mothers or (persons with) disability inside our community to know the importance of early warning so to get prepared. This workshop also helped to give simple ways of passing information to our communities, and from our communities to NDMO
Janet Itaiknu, 37 years, Tanne: To promote women’s leadership and provide safe spaces to address their different issues that affecting their lives and transform their communities during disasters and climate change
Angela, 29 years old, Erramango: The importance of join(ing) WITTT enable me to know more about the different types of weather (information) through NDMO and Van Meteo. The good thing about this is that I know now how to read a cyclone tracking map; If (when) I go back to my community I will teach my community about it
Leiwia Yaviong, 49 years old, Erramango: Women to have access (to) in climate and weather information. This workshop helped to promote women’s leadership inside our community. It is important because it brings women from different places to come together to share each other’s ideas
Margaret, 53 years: We want women’s voices to be heard, promoted and recognised in our community, in our provincial government as well as national level
It's hearing that rural women have been supported with the time and space to read the information provided on gender equality & CEDAW commitments in their national development, disaster management and climate change policy and programme.
It's been a humbling and empowering week to learn together and forge ahead in the develoment of a local, women-led inter-operable information and communication platform that the women call their own.
It's been a week of Pacific-women learning and working together to indeed shift the power.