Washington, DC — August 6, 2015 — The capacity for island communities to effectively address environmental changes and threats to human security cannot be met without the full inclusion and equal participation of women and girls. Often removed from the loci of political decision-making (where advocacy of this kind is usually strongest), island communities are sometimes limited in their exposure to campaigns that encourage gender parity and inclusiveness. For example, many islands in the Pacific region suffer from some of the lowest international rankings in female parliamentary representation and similarly lag in executive positions.
The Islands Society believes the need for greater public awareness of existing barriers must be accompanied by the promotion of women who are successfully breaking them. The Islands Society’s Local Female Leaders (LFL) Program thus seeks to promote leading female change-makers in island communities around the world by showcasing their insights on how the health and well-being of girls and women can be improved in the unique context of island communities.
Communities and leaders are now invited to nominate outstanding women leading positive change to share their personal and professional experiences. LFL will feature these thought leaders on a monthly basis. Under the program, these women will be provided with an opportunity to showcase their local perspectives on the global stage.
Although the program is open to women from all island communities, special emphasis will be placed on featuring women from those island communities already served by the Islands Society. These include: 1) Pacific Islands; 2) ASEAN archipelagic states; 3) Japanese Islands; 4) Sea Islands of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina; 5) Baltic Sea Islands; 6) Inland Islands, especially the Great Lakes and Bodensee (Germany) Regions.
“Creating a culture that celebrates and supports local leaders is central to the Islands Society’s commitment to creating initiatives which ‘respect, inspire and empower islanders’” said Keiko Ono, Vice President of the Islands Society. “As one of our many leadership initiatives, LFL is unique in that it will create a space dedicated to celebrating strong women in an effort to build stronger, more just societies. The recognition of women and their valuable contributions to sustainable growth is not only vital in cultivating greater gender parity, it is grossly overdue in many parts of the world.”
About Islands Society
The Islands Society is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization that develops and implements projects that inspire and empower islanders around the world. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on nine issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists.
Local Female Leaders: www.islandssociety.org/projects/causes/equality/local-female-leaders/
Pacific Islands Society
The Pacific Islands Society a constituent society of the Islands Society. It is dedicated to promoting promoting stronger people-people relations between the Pacific Island Countries and beyond through speaking series, cultural events and annual campaigns.
About Remote Islands Society
The Remote Islands Society is one of the constituent societies of the Islands Society. The Remote Islands Society works to raise awareness of the issues affecting the approximately 600 islands claimed by Japan.
About South Carolina Barrier Islands Society
The South Carolina Barrier Island Society is a constituent society to the Island Society. It seeks to inspire and empower residents of the sea islands of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
About Inland Islands Society
The Inland Society is a constituent society of the Islands Society. It is dedicated to inspiring and empowering individuals who depend on lake islands and river islands around the world.
About Baltic Sea Islands Society
The Baltic Sea Islands is one of the constituent societies of the Islands Society. It is committed to inspiring and empowering islanders from the Baltic Sea Islands.
About Keiko Ono
Keiko Ono is the current Vice-President of the Pacific Islands Society. Borne of Japanese – Papua New Guinean descent, she was primarily raised between nine countries in South-East Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands. Prior to joining the Pacific Islands Society, Keiko studied Politics and Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London. She has since served as one of three Presidents in SOAS Students Union, worked as a researcher for a Zambian NGO and developed experience as an educator in Tokyo working with the Japan-based international NGO, Peace Boat.