PACIFIC: A New Era Begins: Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Scoop Independent News
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead

Those words of Margaret Mead rang very true in a recent meeting of the Pacific Young Women's Leadership strategy group in Suva, Fiji on November 9-10 where a powerful new Alliance to support young women's leadership was formed.Following the successful launch of the Pacific Young Women's Leadership Strategy, the strategy reference group, consisting of representatives from World YWCA, Pacific YWCAs, Fem'LINK Pacific, UNFPA, UNICEF, Fiji Women's Rights Movement and the Pacific Youth Council, met again to discuss how the key areas outlined in the document could be moved forward. Among their commitments was the establishment of a Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance (PYWLA) made up of representatives from several regional agencies that will ensure young women's leadership in the Pacific stays on the agenda of regional decision makers.

Juli Dugdale, World YWCA Programme Director for Asia and Pacific said that the Pacific Young Women's Leadership Strategy was a fine example of how we can work effectively on different levels – globally, regionally, nationally and locally. "The opportunities are limitless when agencies collaborate on a common goal and the Pacific Young Women's Leadership Alliance will strengthen our work in the region as partners,” added Ms Dugdale.

The strategy reference group is currently confirming the criteria for membership of the Alliance; however membership would initially be offered to regional organisations able to demonstrate an institutional commitment to the leadership of young women and are actively working in one or more of the areas of young women's leadership outlined in the Pacific Young Women's Leadership Strategy.

The group also began to develop upcoming leadership opportunities and events for young women in the Pacific region over the next 12 months, including plans to host a Pacific Young Women's Dialogue and conduct a mapping study of policy gaps for young women.World YWCA will continue to lead the reference group through the establishment of the Alliance. “This was an historic time in the history of young women's work in the Pacific and an opportunity for powerful and legitimate change for young women. We are really looking forward to sharing the next stages of development with partners in the region in the not so distant future,” concluded Dugdale.