Category Archives: Gender Equality

Media Release; Women’s Business Forum, 9-10 March 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Women’s Business Forum, 9-10 March 2017

Excitement is building with the preparations of a series of activities next week, including a Women’s Business Forum, in commemoration of the annual International Women’s Day that will be celebrated on 8 March 2017.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has been working with the National Council of Women (NCW) and Cook Islands Business and Professional Women Association (BPW) in bringing together women and relevant agencies to discuss the challenges and barriers that affect women’s participation in business and employment and to identify practical solutions that can make a difference for women.

“It will be an exciting week with the parliamentary training for women commencing Monday 6 March with a Practice Parliament on Wednesday 8 March,” stated Secretary of Internal Affairs Bredina Drollet.

“This will be followed by a one day Women’s Business Forum on Thursday 9 March where we are hoping to have open and honest discussions and the challenges facing women, but more so, identify what can individuals and agencies do to make a difference to assist women better access economic opportunities”.

On Friday 10 March, the Forum will operate as an exposition of support services that are available to women looking to enter business as well as a trade fair for women to exhibit their products.

“We have been encouraged by the support of BPW who will have a central role to play in the Business Forum and we thank Rangi Johnson and Teina Mackenzie for their active interest in the preparation of this event.”

 

In addition, on International Women’s Day, there will be a special breakfast jointly sponsored by the Ministry, Parliament and BPW on 8 March with guest speaker Lisa Marklund.

The Forum will be held at the Rarotongan Resort on 9-10 March. For further information on the International Women’s Day activities next week, please contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

Contact:

Bredina Drollet, Secretary of Internal Affairs, bredina.drollet@cookislands.gov.ck

 

 

 

RATES SET TO INCREASE FROM 1 JULY

The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is set to increase from $165 a month to $200 a month from 1 July 2016 and the Old Age Pension rate for those aged 70 and over will increase from $650 a month to $660 a month.

The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is a means tested payment targeting working age people, primarily those with high disability needs, who are unable to secure employment. There are approximately 200 people currently receiving this payment.

While the rate is set to increase to $200 a month, the Government has stated an intention to progressively increase the Destitute and Infirmed Payment over time so that there is parity with the Old Age Pension.

The increase to the Destitute and Infirmed Payment was announced as part of the 2016-17 Budget at an additional cost of $92,000 bringing the total cost for the payment to $528,000 in 2016-17.

The increase in the Old Age Pension was originally announced last year and will cost an additional $87,000 bringing the total expected expenditure on the Old Age Pension for those aged 70 and over to $5.8 million in 2016-17. This is in addition to $6.3 million allocated in the 2016-17 Budget for Old Age Pensioners aged from 60 to 69.

Youth Training Opportunities: JENESYS Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth

The following opportunity is being offered by the Japanese Government for up to 3 students or youth to attend the above exchange programme in Japan under the JENESYS2015 programme.

JENESYS 2015 is a people-to-people exchange program between Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth) and is supported by the Japanese Government.

The purpose of the programme is to:

  • promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation
  • promote a global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse culture, politics, and diplomatic relations.

This is a fully-funded two-weeks study tour of Japan for 14 Pacific Island Countries and Australia & New Zealand.   (For more info check out: www.usp.ac.fj/jenesys2015/)

Application process:

*  Completed and signed application

*  Copy of bio-data page of passport

*  2x recent passport size photos (accompanying the application)

*  There is an opportunity for up to 3 students or youth to be nominated

*  Current USP students (full-time or part-time) and Youth are encouraged to apply

*  Must be 18 years old and over

Application forms to reached OPS Office no later than Friday 22nd January 2016.

Funding to improve economic empowerment of women and reduce domestic violence

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has signed service agreements with 5 key service providers valued at $614,000 over 3 years to support economic empowerment of women and eliminate violence against women, as part of the Australian Government funded Gender Equality and Empowerment Project.

“I’m looking forward to the roll out of these projects,” stated Secretary of Internal Affairs, Bredina Drollet, “and I would like to thank the various organisations and people that have given their time and assisted in developing these projects”.

The Chamber of Commerce will take on a lead role in coordinating activities that increase economic opportunities for women already in business or proposing to start up a business.

The Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute (CITTI) will provide both formal and informal training programmes and certificates which will help women learn more about business and business management.

These business courses will be supplemented by a mentoring programme which the Chamber of Commerce will coordinate to ensure that women in business who attend the CITTI courses have access to ongoing advice and guidance for their business development.

The National Disability Council will coordinate a programme that offers study, training and support into employment for women and girls with disabilities.

Punanga Tauturu (PTI) will lead the activity on eliminating violence against women. This is a specialist area in which they have worked for many years in collaboration with other key agencies – Police, Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice and a local men’s counselling service.

PTI will be responsible for developing a coordinated referral services policy, with support of relevant Government agencies, and has been provided with funding to enable women in need to access legal advisory services which were previously not available to them.

Training on improving public services in domestic violence cases will be provided by PTI on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua. The National Council of Women will provide advocacy services and training for women based on the results of the Ministry of Health’s 2014 Family Health and Safety Survey.

The Gender Project is funded by the Australian Government through the harmonised New Zealand Aid Programme. The funding is part of a $300 million commitment over 10 years to the Pacific under the Pacific Women Shaping Development Initiative.

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Contact:
Bredina Drollet, Secretary
Ph 29370
Email bredina.drollet@cookislands.gov.ck