The two-day forum brought Palau women from all walks of life, and in traditional, elected and contemporary leadership positions to share challenges of merging traditional and contemporary roles. President Surangel Whipps who was the invited keynote speaker, said it was about “shared responsibilities”, recognizing shared responsibilities and roles of men and women.
Australian Ambassador Richelle Turner who gave special remarks, talked about this being the “ideal time the incredibly important role women play during this pandemic and recommit to work to assist women to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
Palauan women both in Palau and overseas, through the use of internet technology, heard the experiences and challenges women in elected positions face in their decision to run for elected offices as well as while in office. They also heard from women contemporary leaders in civil and commerce, the opportunities and challenges faced.
To empower women, raising them socially and economically, the women look to traditional values and practices (klebelau and klechibelau) for guidance. They also look at new opportunities brought by COVID to build upon beyond the pandemic.
The Women’s International Day Forum is organized by the Office of the Vice President, Ministry of State and funded by Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.