Equality and empowering women in the CNMI was the focus of the two-day annual Women’s Summit held at Kanoa Resort.
The summit, spearheaded by the CNMI Women’s Association, followed the International Women’s Day theme, which is “Pledge for Parity” and added another them which is “Why Women, Why Now, Why You.”
A series of talks and panel discussions were held on both days.
“The focal point of each of the talks is all about women and empowering women to step out of their comfort zones and to be empowered to take on that leadership role whether it be in their homes, or in the community,” CWA secretary and summit chair Jacqueline Che said.
Speakers include Lady Diann Torres, Rita Chong, and Velma Palacios for the Women as Leaders segment; Shirley Dotts, Vivian Guerrero, and Bertha Leon Guerrero for Women in the Workforce; secretaries Mark Rabauliman and Edith Deleon Guerrero for Women and the Economy; Margaret Aldan, Amber Mendiola, and Glenda George for Women and Health; and Cinta Kaipat, Brooke Nevitt, and Reina Camacho for Women and the Environment.
“We are very blessed to have these ladies, who in their own right are leaders in the workforce, but they’re not who you hear about often,” Che said.
On the second day, participants formed together an action plan with the goals that they want to accomplish for the year.
Most of their goals target women’s health including mental health needs and violence and abuse. Training and education, particularly for the women who weren’t able to earn their degree and workforce experience in their younger years were also discussed.
According to Che, this third annual summit is the first time that they have representatives from Tinian and Rota. They have reached their maximum capacity for the summit which was 175.
“The participants are CWA clients, those we serve, and a very big mix, government employees, and also retirees,” Che said.
Another unique factor for the summit is the inclusion of small booths for health and job needs.
“We try to incorporate a free mini health fair screening with CHCC and also a mini job fair. We have human resource representatives from Kanoa Resort, Kensington Hotel, Office of Personnel Management, Best Sunshine [International, Ltd.],” Che said.