The Young Women’s Christian Association YWCA Samoa held consultations at Tauese Hotel last week to gauge the impacts of Covid-19 on women, and talk about what the role of women has been in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program was supported by Women Shaping the Pacific Covid-19 Recovery Project implemented in partnership with the Pacific Island Forum with funding from the European Union’s Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building Facility (TECCBUF).
The development of the recommendations will enable the Shifting of Power Coalition partners to consult civil society allies including church and peacebuilding networks.
The president for Samoa YWCA Taimalelagi Ramona Tugaga told SGN the 20 participants were a cross section of young women leaders, including women frontliners, climate activists, and community leaders.
“These are all YWCA young women leaders.. we have climate change activists, we have community reps, representatives from frontliners such as police officers and doctors..”
“O le faatauaina o lenei polokalame e vaai poo lea se tali atu o tamaitai i le faama’i o le Koviti.”
“This consultation will help inform our paper of recommendations, highlighting the role and contribution of women in response to the pandemic.”
Taimalelagi Ramona said YWCA focuses on women during crisis, and this is the fourth year of this programme.
“This time we are focusing on how to respond to Covid-19..”
“We will finalise a selected committee to be the representatives, so that in the coming months they will present findings to the Ministry of Women and Social Development, UN Women, the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment MNRE and other stakeholders..”
“We also want to address that we have needs, we have sisters with disabilities with special needs..”
“With Covid we need to know where we stand and where we can work collaboratively with Government and stakeholders..”
Taimalelagi said they wish to make recommendations to the Government and other Agencies to ensure recovery efforts are inclusive and accountable to women’s rights, safety and protection, with a focus on addressing the needs of young women and women with disabilities.
She added that in the coming days the YWCA will also be giving out responses to all their members and they will be giving out packages and some Covid kits, as an example of their response to the community for Covid-19.