More than 5,000 viewers have watched a special online talanoa of young Pacific women celebrating their culture, their success, and the important role that our women play in the community.
The virtual event – Wave of the Moana – was held yesterday on various social media platforms to mark International Women’s Day and was facilitated by the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and supported by Pacific Media Network.
The talanoa was the perfect platform to also promote the Moana Pacific Women’s Network, started by PMA with the purpose to celebrate, connect and empower emerging and established Pacific women leaders.
The discussion began with an address from PMA chief executive, Debbie Sorensen, who described women as the “Pearls of the Pacific” and encouraged all Pacific women to be courageous and live authentically in every aspect of their lives.
“As a group of women, we have collectively held our communities and our families together, particularly over the last 12 months.
As women, it’s only natural for us to not only nurture our families, our loved ones, our communities, our brothers, and sisters, but also to provide the most extraordinary leadership.
I look at our panel and I feel really proud to be part of a community of women, of sisters who provide such hope for the future.”
The panellists consisted of seven young Pacific women, from all different cultures, who represented a new wave of leadership. It included a Student Panel of tertiary and university students, Sepoima Grace Time, Taunese Leidtufia, May Sinafea, Ateliana Taufa and a Young Professionals panel made up of Dr Brogan Maoate, Arizona Leger, and Natu Vaeluaga.
Topics of discussion, facilitated by Emily Muli from PMA and Gaby Solomona and Ernestina Bonsu-Maro from the Pacific Media Network, ranged from gender inequality, social and family responsibilities, future aspirations, and words of encouragement for other women.
“Being a young person in a health professional role, sometimes people don’t take you seriously,” Dr Brogan Maoate of the Cook Islands told the panel. “It’s important to back ourselves, to know ourselves and don’t feel like we need to change.”
Masters student and 2021 Youth New Zealander of the Year semi-finalist, Arizona Leger, says for Pacific women to progress further, there needs to be support from others.
“Sometimes the onus is put on us to remove our own barriers and I don’t think that’s the system that we should be promoting.
It’s actually on the shoulders of society to get up and come and help us move those barriers.”
To watch the Wave of the Moana event please see the following link – https://youtu.be/vdHl47l04UI
Date: Tuesday 09 March 2021