Meet Pepetua: a role model for women in Tuvalu

04 December 2018

As part of The Official 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, we’re highlighting stories of empowerment. We looked to the inspiring women we know and work with around the Asia-Pacific and spoke to Pepetua (second from left), the Director of Department of Climate Change and Disaster in Tuvalu.

Pepetua started her career in the Department of Environment and was the only female officer in her team. After working with the team for 10 years and being appointed acting Director on many occasions, she knew she had the skills and experience to be a leader and was successful in her application to her current director role where she works on climate change and disaster policy at both national and international levels (representing Tuvalu).

Pepetua successfully chaired the Least Developed Countries Expert Group established under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. She realised that coming from a small country she had skills across a variety of areas in climate change. She seamlessly led a team of people from other countries she had never worked with before. She then went on to have a lead role on the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Pepetua’s message of inspiration to other women is for people to have confidence and trust in the work that you do.

“Coming from a small country shouldn’t stop you from being in a bigger role, don’t think because you don’t have lots of qualifications that your opinion doesn’t matter. The work we do in the Pacific covers a broad range of areas, we have a wealth of knowledge from our experience that is very relevant for this world.”

The 16 Days Campaign is an international initiative that runs from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. This is used as an organising strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. Click here to find out more and about how you can get involved:

Scope Global works with Pepetua through delivering the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism Phase 2 (PACTAM2), which we manage on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Pictured above with Pepetua is Kate Morioka (centre), a PACTAM2 adviser who is working alongside the partner government in Tuvalu.

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