Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua, Principal Consultant and Founder of Lalanga 4Cs
Lalanga or weaving is a tradition that is common in communities and societies of the Pacific, whether from Micronesia to Melanesia and Polynesia. This fundamental skill of our communities to weave baskets, mats, clothing, or fishing nets entails a patient and careful approach by multiple hands, laying strand upon strand, with an overarching view of what the finished creation will be. Lalanga, however, is more than weaving. As our ancestors have taught us, the lessons of Lalanga coordination, cooperation, commitment, and care (4Cs) can be applied methodically through our life’s challenges.
Principles for delivery are based on the Lalanga 4Cs: Coordination, Cooperation, Commitment, Care
With focus on:
- Sustainable development that will listen and bring wisdom, experience, strength, empathy and leadership to advance sustainable development worldwide.
- Equity and justice for building resilience and creating space for social inclusion and equality throughout history. There’s already a bold vision in the 2030 Agenda and other key strategies at national and regional levels to be implemented across all sectors, communities and societies.
Engagements have been:
“From addressing development strategies and policies at the macro-level to addressing multiple forms of discriminatory practices at the workplace such as sexual harassment, the gender wage gap to shifting policy and culture so that more women can claim their places and leadership positions, to
Strategizing and implementing policy and programmes for sustainable development and poverty eradication in small island developing states;
Assessing the economic costs of violence against women and girls in small island developing states, to
Speaking up for equality to empower all women and girls and other groups, to
Promoting healthy soil and oceans, health and well-being needs of all women, LGBTIQ, women of colour, women with disabilities, trans, gender diverse and intersex women, to
Meaningful engagement and fostering cross-sectoral responses that embeds principles of democracy, anti-corruption, and gender justice in all aspects of sustainable development.”
International, Regional, National
Breadth of experience from short and long term work and visits to provide technical assistance to countries in Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; Northern America, and Oceania.
Drawing on her extensive experience leading teams, programmes and operations and successfully partnering, collaborating and implementing policy work and programmes in an inclusive, fair and transparent manner as articulated in the respective organisations’ strategic plans and frameworks, She has performed a diverse range of roles through leading and coordinating with global network of high-level, senior officials working on sustainable development, and gender equity and social inclusion to support countries demands for strategic planning and monitoring of sustainable development and gender technical assistance through policy advisory and programming.
- Founder & Principal Consultant for Lalanga 4Cs;
- an Independent Director of the Board of The Metals Company;
- a Board Member of the Live & Learn Tonga;
- a member of the International Advisory Group for the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBWN); and
- Founder & Principal Lead for #RoadToFaaimata2022 Initiative (an independent Tonga High School alumni project).
TMC’s efforts to empower women & build female capacity in #marineresearch, particularly for women in the Global South. Watch the following short video to hear from one trainee, Mariana Cullell Delgado, about her work as part of our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.
We’re at the dawn of a new age. Decarbonisation has no simple solutions, especially when it comes to sourcing battery metals. This panel Dr. Mariana Bozesan, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Gerard Barron & Dr. Anneloes Smitsman discuss the options society has on the table and why #nodules could be a better source of energy transition metals than many land-based projects.
Amazing progress for #TMC
Recent assignments included a gender and social inclusion assessment for a climate resilience proposal for one of the PSIDS for the Green Climate Fund. This assignment revalidated that change is not gender‐neutral (we always knew and preach this lol).
The impacts of climate change affect women and men differently.
As I reviewed the proposal for gender mainstreaming, the proposal did not include the variations in the extent to which people are affected by climate change, and are able to adapt, depending on a number of factors, including gender. It was evident that the differences in the economic and livelihood activities, access to resources and decision‐making power of men and women had to be included in the analysis of the problem/issues of building resilience. These gender differences affect the ways people are impacted by, and respond to, climate change. And so, it makes perfect sense for a gender and social inclusion assessment and hopefully a non-negotiable to take at the onset (as we like-minded development practitioners always plea for) — during project design NOT later and NOT as an ADD-ON.
—>consider the gender inequalities that increase the vulnerability of women to climate change and adversely affect
their ability to contribute to mitigation and adaptation efforts.
—> consider the unequal access to political
power, economic resources, legal rights, land ownership, bank credit, and technical training.
—>consider the promotion of gender equality by establishing structures and operating procedures that are careful to include
women as well as men in decision‐making roles, respond to the particular needs of women for climate‐related financing, and enable women’s enterprises to benefit from new low‐carbon technologies and economic opportunities.
Translate the above into an Action Plan for operationalisation by the project.
NOTE — there’s a high market demand for gender and social inclusion and/or gender and development specialist/experts in Oceania/the Blue Pacific region. There are too few specialists available to meet the demands.
🌟WOMEN IN POLITICS🌟
Gender equality in politics
Ensuring that the leaderships of public administrations and parliaments reflect the populations they serve – including their gender composition – can contribute to the fairness and responsiveness of these institutions.
Achieving gender equality in politics requires more than women and men having an equal share of parliamentary seats and ministerial positions. It requires that women and men of all backgrounds have equal access to such positions and can subsequently participate in decision making on an equal basis.
Achieving this entails putting in place inclusive work environments, facilitating equal access to leadership roles (e.g., chairs of parliaments and parliamentary committees), and removing socio-economic barriers to political participation (e.g., through gender-mainstreamed and targeted public policies).
Representation in parliament, government, commercial or statuory companies, boards and committees should reflect any country’s demographics. You cannot ignore 50% of the population.
💢KOE KAFA ‘OE NGAFA E FEFINE TONGA KE FAKAIVIA💢
We appreciate the analysis recently shared by ‘Ofakilevuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki. I draw on some of her analysis where 12 women contested these general elections in contrast to 17 women in 2017.
**Out of a total of 38,500 votes, only 4,352 votes (11.2%) were casted for the 12 female candidates, down from 14% of total votes in 2017 to 11.29% in 2021
**Losaline Ma’asi did not make it in for a second term. Only once in the history of parliament has a female candidate been elected for a second term; ‘Akosita Lavulavu (2016 by-election and 2017 snap election) **Losaline Ma’asi at the 2017 snap elections won 35% (1,034) of the total # of votes from her constituency TTP5. This decreased to 22.58% (614) in 2021 **Vika Fusimalohi received 488 votes in the 2017 snap elections (Ttp9). This time around, it decreased to 344, a loss/decrease of 144 votes
**Out of 17 constituencies a total of six (6) had no female candidates, similar to that of 2017 ** The female candidate who received the most # of votes was from TTP6, Fane Fituafe who claimed 38.06% (1,088) of the total votes in contrast to her only opponent, Poasi Tei who received 64.13% (1,771)
I salute and appreciate the tireless efforts of the 12 women throughout this 2021 election process, and despite talks of empowerment, politics in Tonga sadly remains a ‘boys’ club’. #boysclub But we can’t stop ladies. We must keep holding people accountable. We salute you all, the mighty 12 women — you have built credibility, you have built name recognition, and you know how the system works and how to run a campaign — you’ll stay engaged. What you as powerful women have built in this campaign should not end with this campaign. This is an opportunity to bring an intergenerational political movement to the fold. We, must all just built on a legacy of work that is much bigger than our individual struggles. And that’s why, regardless of the outcome of a race, the work must continue (I think). Even though the women didn’t win a seat, I believe there should not be any feelings of a sense of loss. The experiences have motivated the 12 women and other women like me, that their/our voices MATTER and deserve to be politically engaged in our society/country. 📌I hope that the successful men to Parliament could be fired up to have our issues represented and make time to hear the voices of the women.
Life is a journey, not a race, our time will come. Stay strong and keep moving ladies! That move will include another run – please don’t rule out that possibility. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. 🐾🐾🐾 Koe fa’ee, koe tuofefine ‘oe laione ‘oku kei mo’ui/laumalie pe! ‘Ofa moe hounga’ia ki he kau fefine to’a ‘e toko 12 he to’u fili ‘oe 2021.
I had the pleasure of joining 2 other guest speakers at the Tonga Women Parliament (TWP) 2021 Program on women's empowerment. Na'a ku kau atu kihe penolo talanoa he "fakaivia 'o fafine" he polokalama Fale Alea 'ae Houe'iki Fafine 2021 'oku fakalele 'ehe 'Ofisi 'oe Fale Alea moe ngaahi polokalama tokoni 'ae UN, 'i he kaveinga koe fakaivia 'o fafine.One of the questions raised was what are Temporary Special Measures (TWP) in Tonga's context? TWP has been shared and discussed on and off in Tonga. In the Pacific region, only a handful of countries have embraced temporary special measures (TSM), that is, measures designed to empower women and increase women’s participation in politics. These include Samoa, New Caledonia and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in Papua New Guinea that have reserved seats for women.Koe TSM pe koe polokalama fakataimi (temporary), koe taha ia 'oe ngaahi founga fakaivia 'o fafine he mala'e politikale. Koe founga 'oku fakahoko fakataimi pe ke tokoni ki hono fakafaingamalie'i 'oe le'o 'o fafine kihe Fale Alea, pea hili hono faka'ataa fakataimi koeni e ngaahi sea ma'a fafine, pea toki vakai'i 'e he pule'anga 'ae tu'unga kuo 'iai pea toki toe fai hano fakalelei'i 'i he kaha'u. Koe taumu'a ke fakaivia 'a fafine he mo'ui fakapolitikale moe fale alea.'Oku 'ihe 'aofinima 'oe Fale Alea moe Pule'anga 'ae mafai ke fakangofua ke ngaue'aki 'ae TSM 'iha taimi ke tokonia mo fakaivia ai 'a fafine. 'Oku 'iai 'ae founga (process) ke muimui'i 'e he kau ma'u mafai pea lava ke fakalao mo fakahoko 'ae founga fakaivia koeni koe Temporary Special Measures. 'Oku 'i he 'aofinima 'oe tangata'i moe fefine'i fonua ke kole kihe kau fakafofonga ke nau tokangaekina e 'elia mahu'inga koeni.'Oku kau foki 'a Tonga 'ihe to nounou he vahevahe taau 'oe faingamalie ki he Fale Alea pea 'i he tokosi'i taha he Fale Alea (peseti e 5 kimui taha 'oe fonua 'e 193 he UN). 'A ia koe fale alea ne toki tapuni ne toko 2 fefine pe ne fili 'e he kakai, pea ne tanaki atu kiai e tokotaha fili 'ehe Palemia (mo 'ene Kapineti) ke fakatokolahi 'aki 'a 'ene Kapineti. Ko Ha'amoa, Niu Kaletonia, mo Poukenivila i Papua, kuo nau faka'aonga'i e fo'i founga fakaivia 'o fafine koeni 'i honau fonua.
What are Temporary Special Measures (TSM)?
In cases where the long-term effects of discrimination have seriously disadvantaged women, this may require measures that give women not just formally equal treatment to men, but preferential treatment, in order to create actual equality for women. The definition and appropriate application of these measures is described in Article 4 of the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Discrimination Against Women), and further elaborated on in the CEDAW Committee’s General Recommendation No. 25.
Article 4, paragraph 1, directs States to take temporary special measures as may be required for a period of time, to speed up the achievement of women’s de facto or substantive equality with men, and to effect the structural, social and cultural changes necessary to correct past and current forms of discrimination against women. CEDAW makes clear that these temporary special measures do not discriminate against men and are not a form of discrimination if they are being implemented as a means to speed up the achievement of gender equality.
Temporary special measures can include a wide range of legislative, executive, administrative and other regulatory instruments, policies and practices, such as outreach or support programmes; allocation and/or reallocation of resources, preferential treatment; targeted recruitment, hiring and promotion; numerical goals connected with timeframes; and quota systems. The emphasis is on the temporary nature of the measures – their duration is determined by their result in response to a concrete problem, and must be discontinued when the desired result has been achieved and sustained for a period of time.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Family Affairs of Seychelles, June 2021
from the Rt Hon Helen Clark, 2020
“The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) is the premium political agency for the region. This is the body that brings together the Leaders of Pacific Island Countries (PICs), including Australia and New Zealand to deliberate and decide on key regional issues. Key regional issues, as to be expected, cover a wide range of areas such as economic development, infrastructure development, transportation, telecommunications and e-Government, climate change and disasters, health such as the COVID 19 pandemic, education, gender, security and so forth. The PIFS should anchor all the efforts of technical regional inter-governmental organisations to ensure they are supporting all PICs big and small. Thus, the next Secretary General should have the calibre and the “mana” to do exactly that. I have faith in Ms Ámelia Kinahoi Siamomua as a candidate (now) and as the next Secretary General, to take the region to a higher level of economic, social, environmental development and resiliency, based on the aspirations of the Leaders and people of PICs.” by the late Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, Environmental Scientist, Former Director Climate Change Division, SPREP; Programme Manager, Central Services Unit (CSU), IDA 18, World Bank Projects, Tonga
“For SIDS, building back differently needs leadership that is robust and committed to inclusion and tackling COVID19 beyond borders. Regional solidarity and institutions are critical to building back better to recover from the crisis and build more resilient economies and societies. To address deepening inequality within and between countries, and to tackle the climate emergency, we need modern leadership that combines experience and empathy. I have witnessed Amelia’s commitment to regional and international cooperation, her abilities as a consensus-builder and an effective facilitator. I was proud to be her colleague and look forward to seeing her at work for the Pacific.” Vijay Krishnarayan of Trinidad and Tobago, Former Director-General (2012-2019), Commonwealth Foundation
Championing Change“Amelia is the best option we have in the Pacific. She will ensure there is an intersectional approach in the pursuit of improving the welfare of all Pacific Island lives, and our environment, especially during this pandemic. Her 35 years of experience of working with Governments, civil society, and various stakeholders including women, and youth across the African, Asian, Carribbean, and Pacific regions, will bring value and fearless leadership to the role of the Secretary General, PIFS.” Elizabeth V Kite, Founding CEO of Pacific Lead and Tonga Youth Leaders
“Amelia is the living example of the true Pacific understanding of unity in differences. Her 4 Cs of Coordination, Cooperation, Commitment and Care are centred in the Pacific original philosophy that sustains balance and harmony in relationships both within communities and among nations. I interacted with Amelia while undertaking post-doctoral research in the UK in 2017, and it was then that I witnessed first-hand her sharpness in interpreting diverse information in a short period of time, her openness to new ideas, and her promptness in taking action when she connected me to all possible avenues she identified as necessary for furthering my research endeavours the UK and beyond. Amelia has the physical capacity, spiritual power, and intellectual flexibility to re-unite the voices and wisdom of our Pacific region. She is a post covid-19 opportunity for the Pacific Island Forum Countries to re-establish their international identity in this new era that is upon us.” Dr. Kaitu’u ‘i Pangai Funaki, Founder of the Dignified Pacific Initiative, Co-founder of the Emerging and Developing Economies Network Seminars, Researcher with the Center for Democracy Promotion (Japan), and Director of the Royal Oceania Institute (Tonga)
“There is a prevailing gap in the kind of leadership that is connected with people and their realities and at the same time able to inspire and galvanise action at multiple levels of decision-making. Amelia exemplifies leadership that has the breadth and depth of hands-on experience in country-specific development and enriched by decades of working for regional and global cooperation. She is intimate with the cultural specificity of large ocean nations, possess a substantive knowledge of the nuance of gender and its intersectionality and a fierce advocate of the rights of women. As a colleague, Amelia and I worked together, strategizing and supporting ways to amplify voices of women and those less heard across the Commonwealth and beyond. I am proud of her commitment to people’s participation in governance, crucial at this time of crisis. The Pacific in these unprecedented times needs a leader with an extraordinary knowledge of the region and a passion to see the Pacific rise even stronger. I look forward to Amelia’s return to her roots, leading alongside the people of the Pacific.” Myn Garcia, Canada, Former Deputy Director General (2012-2019), Commonwealth Foundation
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