GESI training vital to addressing community vulnerabilities

Posted on 28 September 2020
Macuata district representatives at the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion training in Labasa.
© WWF-Pacific
Suva, Fiji-  13 community representatives from the Tikina of Sasa,Mali, Wailevu, Dreketi , Labasa and Nadogo were part of a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) workshop, funded by the David and Lucile Packard foundation and facilitated by  Development Consultant Aliti Vunisea in Labasa

The GESI training, empowered district representatives to better understand how this (GESI) concept addresses improving accessibility to livelihood assets and services for all, including women, the poor, youths, the elderly and people living with disabilities.
Vunisea highlighted that as vulnerabilities increase, inclusive planning processes at village and tikina (district) level are needed to ensure that the needs and interests of all community members are understood and addressed.
This would need strengthened discussions  targeted to ensure equity and inclusion for all.
Soqosoqo Vakamarama representative for Macuata, Adi Melaia Qomate thanked WWF for the GESI training, highlighting that the session  provided a safe  space for participants to discuss the root causes of vulnerability and find a way forward to strengthen equality, equity  and address the needs of the most vulnerable groups to achieve global commitments and create  sustainable change.
The training helps to create an enabling environment for more inclusive policies, a change in mind set and encourages equal and inclusive participation of all members of the communities, including women, the poor and the most vulnerable in decision making processes and access to resource use and benefits.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the organisers of the workshop, this is not something new as some topics that were discussed is usually a tabu in villages and families, so to be given the space to have this discussions is empowering, moving forward the participants role is to share what they have learnt in their village and empower their families. And it’s a big challenge for villages especially with the changes brought about through modernization,” she said.
“I’m thankful for the GESI training as it is something new for me especially in understanding how our roles are changing,” said Nadogo District representative, Apenisa Seruitanoa.
Vunisea added that the GESI training should run parallel with social management trainings that focus not only on the resources but the people who are looking after the resources.
WWF-Pacific Great Sea Reef Programme Manager Alfred Ralifo highlighted that there are specific social and cultural challenges based on gender that limit their access to resources, access to benefits resulting from the use of natural resources and in decision making processes regarding governance and management of natural resources.
“This exercise  provides an  insight  to the status of vulnerable groups as well as provide in roads that can address gender inequalities and inequities,” he said.
Macuata district representatives at the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion training in Labasa.
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Development Consultant Aliti Vunsea at the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion training in Labasa.
© Tui Marseu-WWF-Pacific Enlarge
Macuata representatives in discussion during GESI group work.
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Women representatives of Macuata, deep in discussion during the GESI training.
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