Women Speak Out! A Report of the Pacific Women's Conference. October 27 – November 2
Resolutions of the Pacific Womens Conference Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, 1975
Resolutions of the Pacific Womens Conference Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, 1975
On Women and the Family
Resolution 1: We accept the sentiment expressed that women need to have a surer method of receiving economic support for the family, and that free legal aid, home counselling and government subsidy through child endowments be provided for women.
Resolution 2: That all parents make special effort to train and educate their children regarding their attitudes and responsibilities in the family.
Resolution 3: As domestic violence seems to be largely the result of excessive consumption of liquor, that a national educational programme be conducted in the use of alcohol through school curriculum and all levels of the mass media.
Resolution 4: That all present government policies and legislation be reviewed and future policies and legislation incorporate the strengths and responsibilities of the extended family system.
On Women's Health
Resolution 1: It is understood that very little research has been done in the Pacific region on Women's Health. Thus, this conference should push for more research and this should be by Pacific health teams, because of their understanding of their own people mentally, psychologically and medically.
Resolution 2: This conference should press for a definite guide for Pacific countries on under-nutrition and protein and energy malnutrition. Results will have to be classified as items and reported in the country's medical reports available to the public. Women's groups should ensure these are read and absorbed by their politicians.
Resolution 3: South Pacific women can be encouraged to more breast-feeding. In the education syllabus, and with the adult education, encouragement can be placed on the advantages of breastfeeding.
Resolution 4: Family Planning publicity is needed at all levels of rural and urban life and more audio-visual aids should be used, depicting actual Pacific scenes and people, and that Family Planning welfare and education should be introduced in all educational institutions.
Resolution 5: This Women's Conference requests the World Health Organisation through regional governments to send a health team to research the radioactive fallout and its consequences on the health of Pacific peoples, islands and especially on present and unborn children and that this information be made available to the Pacific people.
On Women and Religion
Resolution 1: That the learning and process of religious education and the opportunities to attain the highest possible rank in the religious structure be opened to both men and women.
Resolution 2: That monetary offerings towards any church or religious activity be made voluntarily rather than imposed and the practise of publicizing the donor be eradicated to stop unnecessary competitive offering.
On Women and Education Preamble –
That the educational objective for boys and girls, men and women, be the same. The most important objective of formal education should be to equip all people with the relevant skills necessary for daily living.
Resolution 1: That the school curriculum be widened to include relevant activities to help train students for their community. A “basic” education course be included in the existing education core and this should cover all social, economic and political skills (which does not exist in the present curriculum) which the child requires for all the different roles he/she will be expected to play in the future.
Resolution 2: That the formal school curriculum include a course mounted especially to help students to understand one another and their own culture and the different roles they will need to play in their own society. That educational programmes for parents and guardians be organised to involve them in this programme.
Resolution 3: That greater emphasis be put on the development and implementation of courses on local craft and local food preservation.
Resolution 4: That the curriculum of Pacific schools be Pacific orientated and youth be trained to respect their land, their identity and their heritage. This will involve a thorough examination of the present formal school system. Foreign elements which demote such a process should be removed and new ones evolved to replace them. Relevant basic texts to support such a revised re-orientation course must be written for the Pacific area. Education must be for self-reliance.
Resolution 5: That the educational authorities be urged to re-examine and ban all text books that use sexist and imperialistic language and concepts.
Resolution 6: This Conference recognises that in many areas “pidgin” or the vernacular language is a valid and beautiful language spoken by the majority, not only nationally but also regionally. Therefore, in order that education serves the masses, national development, unity and regional co-operation, these languages should be the language of instruction.
Parents' & Teachers' Association
Resolution 7: That Parents' and Teachers' Associations be established in those territories where they do not exist and educational programmes be organised through it, encouraging and helping parents widen the educational opportunities and horizons for their children.
Resolution 8: That the women of the Pacific make every possible effort, use every opportunity available, contact every organisation possible to make funds and resources available so that complete and free education can be offered at all levels for everyone.
Resolution 9: That all systems of education in the Pacific include a section on continuing education.
Resolution 10: That the University of the South Pacific and other training institutions include courses where all students participate in community development programmes in rural and urban areas as part of their degree and diploma course requirements.
Resolution 11: That the University of the South Pacific and other universities in the Pacific area mount and conduct training courses for communication, technical skills for the “news media” (e.g. skills for newspapers, radio and filming work) and that women be encouraged to participate.
Resolution 12: That the Pacific women who have had the advantage of formal education help those who have been less fortunate and organize programmes to encourage, equip and develop their skills for full participation in their own community at all levels and that Pacific women use the traditional personal approach when presenting any educational programme and attempt always to treat with respect and consideration any different culture.
Resolution 13: That education programmes and the needs of countries of the Pacific be defined by the people themselves.
Resolution 14: As education must be above all an education for self-reliance, parents must be assisted in participating actively in the review of their children's work and the maintenance of school facilities by the establishment of a National Education Week, during which parents visit schools to see children and teachers at work and help to repair classrooms and furniture.
Resolution 15: That an area where women are traditionally the cultivators of the soil, it is the women who must be the recepients of agricultural training programmes.
Resolution 16: Adult education and literacy programmes, priority items, should be conducted according to the themes and guidelines enumerated above. Special emphasis must be placed on educating men toward non-sexist attitudes.
Education and the Media
Resolution 17: That the media, being the most effective means of education and communication, be scrutinized so that – (a) programmes which are relevant to and consistent with national and regional interests are responsibly chosen by the Directors of the media;
(b) commercial advertising which may have adverse effects on the nation or the region is restricted or prohibited.
Resolution 18: That every effort be made to control the type of films which are harmful to the social and cultural development of any community.
On Women and the Law
Resolution 1: That delegates from this Conference pressure their governments for the establishment of a Law Review or Law Reform Committee to review laws in their country so that they are more suitable to their way of life; and that such a body include equal numbers of women and men and that women's organisations be consulted during the process of review and when new laws are being written.
Resolution 2: That a Resource Centre be set up where information and skilled persons can be utilised throughout the Pacific and that through this proposed Resource Unit, Pacific women are represented internationally, on social, economic, environmental and legal issues, so that information can be filtered back and women mobilized.
On Women and Politics
Resolution 1: That the Pacific Women's Conference supports that the titles of all lands being returned to Aboriginal people be freehold and not leasehold and that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs be taken out of the Public Service and total control be given to the Aboriginal Community.
Resolution 2: That the Federal Department for Aboriginal Affairs support the move for a Royal Commission into:
Aborigines and Police
Aborigines and the Administration of Justice
Aborigines and Corrective Services.
Resolution 3: That the government give assurance to all Aboriginal legal services that they will remain in existence regardless of which political party is in power.
Resolution 4: That this Conference supports the recognition of the Australian descendents of South Sea Island people for compensation for loss of land, culture and identity.
The Maori Land March
Resolution 5: That a cable supporting the Maori marchers camped on the steps of Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand, be sent. The cable sent read as follows:– THE PACIFIC WOMEN'S CONFERENCE WHICH IS BEING HELD HERE IN SUVA, FIJI, FROM OCTOBER 27 TO NOVEMBER 1, AND WHICH IS BEING ATTENDED BY WOMEN FROM THROUGHOUT THE PACIFIC REGION, DECLARES ITS SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH OUR MAORI BROTHERS AND SISTERS CAMPED OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN WELLINGTON STOP WE SUPPORT THEIR DEMAND FOR AN ASSURANCE FROM THE NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT THAT NOT ONE MORE ACRE OF MAORI LAND WILL BE TAKEN FROM THEM STOP WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS ONLY THROUGH SUCH CONTINUED STRUGGLE AND UNITY THAT THE MAORI PEOPLE WILL REGAIN STATUS, IDENTITY AND SELF-DTERMINATION IN THEIR OWN LAND, AOTEAROA.
THE PACIFIC WOMEN'S CONFERENCE
Resolution 6: That the Pacific Women's Conference supports the Queensland Land Rights Conference to be held from November 28 to December 1, and a cablegram of support will be sent to the Aboriginals who are organising the Conference. Should there be any money left over from this Conference a contribution will be sent.
On Women and the Pacific Community
Resolution 1: That a Regional Pacific Women's Resource Centre be formed where information and skilled persons can be utilised throughout the Pacific.
Resolution 2: That a regional Pacific Women's Association be formed to be the support group of the proposed Pacific Women's Resource Centre.
Resolution 3: That the Conference will help and support the struggles of women in the colonial territories of the Pacific and that women in independent and self-governing countries be made more aware of the double difficulties facing women in colonised countries; that we publicise and circulate among women the situation facing women in the colonial territories, for example Dewe Gorodey, and offer financial support.page 140
Resolution 4: That Resolution 3 become a function of the Regional Pacific Women's Association.
Resolution 5: That the Conference support a denuclearised Pacific and in particular the proposals of the People's Treaty for a Nuclear Free Pacific formulated by the Conference for a Nuclear Free Pacific, April 1–6, 1975.
Resolution 6: That the independent and self-governing nations in the Pacific support territories under colonialism wanting to achieve self-government status, namely the independence movements of New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Micronesia and the autonomist parties of French Polynesia.
Resolution 7: That the 200 miles territorial limit proposal at the Law of the Sea Conference is in the interests of the Pacific people and that the conference supports this proposal.
Resolution 1: That the South Pacific Regional Women's Conference of this kind be held every three years, countries in the Pacific taking turns to host and that an Executive meeting of the South Pacific Regional Women's Conference be held annually, or as it suits. The members of the Executive Committee should be comprised of representatives from each country or territory to review and evaluate the outcome of the last meeting and to plan for the future meeting.
Resolution 2: That all meetings of the South Pacific Regional Women's Conference whether it be of Executive or General be opened and closed in the traditional style of the host country.