Pacific News Centre
The report ‘Pacific Youth: Their Rights, Our Future’, to be launched tomorrow at Parliament House in Wellington, is based on the findings of the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) which ran an open hearing on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Pacific in June this year.
Governor Soso was one of three women elected to PNG’s parliament in August. She is not only the first woman governor, she is also the first woman to be elected to parliament from the Eastern Highlands.
NZPPD chair Dr Jackie Blue said: “The report and the recommendations made in it will help to guide the work of NZPPD over the coming years. We are very happy Governor Julie Soso will be a part of the report launch.
“NZPPD advocates for gender equality and to protect the rights of women and girls in the Pacific. While Governor Soso may be a new member of parliament she has been a community leader and a strong advocate for the rights of women and girls for many years.
“We’re looking forward to working with Governor Soso on implementing the report recommendations in the future,” Dr Blue said.
The recommended actions in the report include:
Encouraging youth engagement – involve adolescents in decision making processes that directly affect them, particularly about their own sexual and reproductive health.
Supporting legislative reform to decriminalize homosexuality and to reduce stigma and discrimination faced by young people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ensuring legislation and policies protect the rights of women and girls to eliminate all forms of discrimination and gender based violence.
The report launch will be attended by NZPPD members, representatives from the Pacific and New Zealand and other key people.
Governor Soso and Julieanne Wickham, a young woman from the Solomon Islands, will both address the attendees at the launch, sharing their experiences of advocating for the rights of women and girls in the Pacific.