Agenda item 26: Advancement of Women
Statement by: H.E. Jeem S. Lippwe, Permanent Representative
New York, 4 October 2023
The delegation of Micronesia congratulates you and your bureau on your election, and assures you of our full support.
Micronesia continues to make progress as a country that values all its citizens. With our small population, and limitations in our human resources and capacities, we are dedicated as a Nation to providing equal opportunities to all our citizens. Spread across a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Micronesia must provide services and establish policies that enable women and girls in all our communities to reach their full potential. Thus, our government has made significant investments to increase access to innovative technology for its citizens, and introduced the FSM Digital Project which has a specific program for women that put internet in the entire low-income female headed households.
Significant investments to increase access to innovative technology for our citizens are on the rise on our main islands, and connection of our remote outer islands to basic broadband services are also established as they have a huge potential to improve outcomes for women and girls.
With increased access to this innovative technology, in the area of healthcare for women, we have established systems for tele-health consultations that have enabled great access particularly for women and girls to diagnostic services and healthcare. For our women and children that are not insured under our national medical insurance, our government has introduced a medical waiver program. And for our women and girls that are victims of rape and domestic abuse, we have currently in place at our local dispensaries a clinical management rape program. During the Covid-19 pandemic, female headed households were provided subsidies to address high energy costs.
In two of our states, policies on ending violence against women and girls and a standing procedure for victims of domestic violence are also in place.
In our education system, our Government has established a number of government-funded scholarships that support women and girls to access careers in non-traditional fields, including ICT.
These are testaments to the efforts and commitments of my government to gender equality to ensure women and girls are not left behind.
Micronesia is a matrilineal society, where traditionally land control is mainly passed down from generation to generation through women. Control of land symbolizes power. As a nation, we are fully cognizant of the historical fact that our women have had difficulty in attaining roles in leadership and decision making in government.
But it is also fair to say that more and more women are taking on important leadership role than ever before both in our private and public sectors. And as my President indicated in his statement during the High-level Week general debate, Micronesia has finally broken through the proverbial “glass ceiling” as we now have women serving in our national Congress. And my President is fully committed to placing more women into leadership and decision making positions in his Administration for a more inclusive and equal Micronesia; thirty percent of his cabinet are women.
Women have finally made it into our national congress, and our state legislatures have also women representatives. Women also hold key positions in the Judiciary both in state and the national governments.
While we have made gains, there is still work to be done. There are still women out there who face violence at home and in their communities. There is no strength in inequality and we must do our utmost to abolish all forms of discrimination.
To ensure the advancement of women, we must provide an atmosphere of equity and safety for women to enjoy the same opportunities afforded to men where they can excel; they can lead and live the lives they deserve.
Chairperson, it would be a disservice on my part to the women and girls of Micronesia, and for that matter to all those from the small island developing states, if I do not raise the issue of climate change and the effects it has on our islands and on our women and girls. Our planet is facing a climate crisis. And women, children, and persons with disabilities are often the first to be affected. Climate change also has a human rights component and cannot be ignore it. The people of Micronesia and the Pacific are already experiencing its impacts and soon, if not now, the whole world will face the same crisis. Any progress and achievements will be for naught if nothing is done to curb it.
In closing I wish to add my delegation’s support to the statement on the rights of women and girls, delivered yesterday by the United Arab Emirates on behalf of eighty countries.
I thank you.