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Women Speak Out! A Report of the Pacific Women's Conference. October 27 – November 2

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

We in the Cook Islands have no T.V. as yet, but we have a daily newspaper which is controlled by the government. We also have a broadcasting system which is also controlled by the government. So it is very difficult for other people outside government, like an opposition group to the government. They are not free to express themselves; they can write an article for the press and send it in, but its got to be censored, and if it suits them, its printed in full, and if it doesn't, its thrown out. This is the way it is in the Cooks. This is how we stand in the Cooks.

We have a woman's programme but to this day no one ever asked us if we'd like to participate in this hour. [Poko Ingram led a delegation of Cook Island women belonging to the Cook Islands Women's Association, which supports one of the opposition parties in the Cook Islands. Editor.] The women's programme runs for an hour. The chosen group to speak or relate their programmes is the Cook Islands Federation of Women which is government sponsored. So they can talk to their ladies on anything, so therefore they communicate to the other islands which leaves us in the Rarotonga areas. So we have to write – that's the only communication we have with the outer islands and ourselves.