Lynnsay Rongokea Francis – Cook Islands

Linked with Asian Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development APWLD.

She is APWLD’s Regional Coordinator.

She says: “My involvement with APWLD was through Imrana Jalal, who invited me to attend the first Feminist Legal Theory and Practice training in the Pacific back in 1998, it was my introduction to feminism and a critical analysis of the law in theory and practice.

Being a member of the network has brought me into contact with many women activists and advocates from the Asia Pacific region, who come from diverse backgrounds and have shared experiences. I have come to realise what empowerment means and the importance of understanding the experiences and realities of women’s lives when applying the law to address women’s issues to bring about social change. It has also equipped me with the skills and knowledge to mobilise communities to bring about policy, legislative and constitutional change in the Cook Islands where I come from.

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Lynnsay Rongokea Francis – Cook Islands

As a newly appointed Regional Coordinator, I bring to APWLD a combination of experiences and skills in non-formal training, project planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and management, having worked in community development, on issues of gender, human rights and the law at both national and regional levels in Pacific Island countries, with government and non-government as well as regional organisations. Although some progress has been made in some areas within the Pacific region, women are still disadvantaged in political, social, cultural and economic life, due to the fact that Pacific political decision makers continue to be overwhelmingly male and are reflected in the failure to address issues that concern women.

With the support of the APWLD governance bodies, the secretariat and members of the network and especially with the support of my Pacific women colleagues, friends and network and my commitment to the organisation and women’s movement I believe I have the experience and skills that are much needed at this time to ensure APWLD continues at the forefront of the women’s movement to shape and lead the way forward towards shared goals”. (on, scroll down).

She is also founding member of the PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT, in Suva, Fiji.

She says also: “I think it’s unfortunate that it’s taken the death of a woman for the government to realise the seriousness of violence in our community. And I think what has happened is that there are more people aware of the issues now, who areand saying “yes, it’s about time we did something about it.” Or that government actually does something about it” … and: “We notice that the problem we have in court is that for a woman who’s been hospitalised, the judge will say “well, the next time you do this we’ll treat the matter more seriously.” And what we’re saying is how serious does it have to be before they get the message out to the perpetrators that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable. A woman could be hospitalised and get eight stitches, she could be thumped, strangled and the perpetrator will get 12 months probation. This is unacceptable”. Interview concerning crimes.

Read: Forum News of APWLD.

Contact: Tel. 682-21518 (Cook Islands), Email.

Her book: Tivaevae, portraits of Cook Island quilting, by Lynnsay Rongokea; photographs by John Daley.
Summary: Eighteen women from Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mauke, Atiu and Mangaia recount aspects of the craft of tivaevae (quilt making), the role it has played in their own lives and that of their communities.
Publisher: Daphne Brasell Associates Press Wellington, N.Z., 1992.

And about this book: More than a century ago, missionaries introduced fabric to the Cook Islands and before you knew it, the ladies there were cranking out brightly colored quilts. They have their own design traditions and styles that are roughly analogous to Hawaii’s quilters. Those interested in such things will likely snatch this up – the colors fairly sizzle on the page, and Daley’s photographs are first-rate and well-printed. At this price, the book is also a bargain. (on

And she says: “Protest co-organiser Lynnsay Rongokea-Francis complained: “He’s talked to Radio New Zealand [International]. But he hasn’t said anything to the people of the Cook Islands”. (about Snap Election).


Bibliography of contemporary Pacific art and artists;

the word;

New Zealand Literary Award Winners;

A Discussion List on Gender Issues in South Asia.

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