As Aotearoa New Zealand’s Ambassador Gender Equality (Pacific)/Tuia Tāngata, I am committed to advocating for women and girls in all our diversity. A pillar of this kaupapa is to encourage an environment in which Pacific women and girls are empowered to lead self-determining lives, and to amplify Pacific voices on gender equality issues.
In my role I have had the privilege of meeting with Pacific leaders, civil society and regional organisations across Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa, who are committed to addressing gender-based violence, corruption, unequal access to resources and education, human rights challenges, and other intersecting issues of vital importance to the lives of all women and girls.
In my view these efforts give life to the Teieniwa Vision — the product of the Kiribati-hosted Pacific anti-corruption conference in 2020, that all Pacific Leaders have endorsed — which calls for inclusive, whole-of-society, collaborative efforts in unity against corruption.
We, as a region, have acknowledged that corruption disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, especially women, persons with disabilities, youth, and the elderly, and we understand that the only way to make progress is to dissect gender inequalities that facilitate corrupt behaviour, and the differentiated impact of corruption on women and those most vulnerable to this abuse, in the first place. Addressing the root causes of these injustices is central to my work as Tuia Tāngata.
Ambassador Wall and Hon. Simon Kofe, Tuvalu Minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs, at Pacific Youth Conference on Governance.
I was delighted to participate in the Pacific Youth Conference on Governance last month. The Conference was an excellent opportunity to hear diverse voices discuss the nexus of corruption, climate change, and gender equality. Speaking to the intersection of anti-corruption and gender equality, I emphasised the need to address these issues historically.
We need to understand why the status of women has been compromised across the Pacific by colonialism. The involvement of women in anti-corruption efforts is fundamental to promoting transparency, accountability and gender equality.
Progress must include improved access to education that includes the status and role of women pre-colonisation, and mechanisms to achieve full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making for women and girls in all our diversity.
The intersecting priorities of my role as Tuia Tāngata are founded on the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Pacific Resilience principles of Tātou Tātou (All of us together), Turou Hawaiiki (Navigating together), and Arongia ki Rangiātea (Focus towards Excellence). These principles put all of us in good stead to contribute to a prosperous, resilient and safe Blue Pacific Continent, where freedom from corruption is the norm for all members of our community.
Louisa Wall (Tūwharetoa, Hineuru, Waikato) is Aotearoa New Zealand’s Ambassador for Gender Equality (Pacific)/Tuia Tāngata. Louisa is working with countries across Te Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa to establish new partnerships and programmes that support the full and effective participation by women and LGBTQI+ communities, and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life in the Pacific. Formerly a Labour MP, Ambassador Wall was Co-Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians group, co-convenor of the parliamentary cross-party working group on LBGTI rights, and Co-Chair of the NZ Chapter of Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).