By the invitation of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Women Association (FAWA), Republic of the Marshall Islands First Lady Lieom Anono Loeak led a delegation to Guam to attend FAWA's 20th Convention held 25-28 October 2012. FAWA is an international organization that has worked to empower women throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and has been important in establishing partnerships and creating opportunities to enhance women's access to professional development in education, health, business, the private and public sector. This is the second time for RMI to participate in a FAWA Convention, making it eligible to gain FAWA membership status.
The FAWA convention included the participation of First Lady Loeak, Guam First Lady Christine Calvo, US Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Palau Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs Mrs. Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, among others.
"Women in the Asia-Pacific region share a similar desire to come together to address issues of concern in areas of health, education, sustainability, and issues that continue to challenge us. FAWA recognizes the critical importance of coming together and sharing experiences to develop a way forward," said First Lady Loeak.
During the convention, participants took part in workshops, activities, and events. The convention ended with workshop reports, discussion of resolutions, recommendations, and adoption by member countries. First Lady Loeak will be returning to Majuro to revive Mejedrik, a non-profit group that was established during the Amata Kabua administration by former First Lady Emlain Kabua and former members at the time.
Plenary speakers included Kathryn Xian, the Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, Lourdes "Lou" A. Leon Guerrero, President and Chair of the Board of Bank of Guam, Annette M. David, board-certified internist and Occupational and Environmental Medicine Specialist, and Helen Brown, a famous writer and television presenter.
RMI delegation members included Foreign Affairs Protocol Consultant Neijon Edwards, MIVA General Manager Brenda Alik-Maddison, and Office of the President staffers.
– Office of the President, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Majuro