When a Category 5 cyclone devastated Eta Tuvuki’s remote village in Fiji, she wanted to make sure women hit by extreme weather were being heard. Now she brings their concerns to decision makers in the capital and shares weather information so rural women can prepare for the worst.
According to climate scientists, warming oceans played a role in the intensity of last year’s disastrous storm. Low-lying islands in the South Pacific – like Fiji – are vulnerable to some of the most severe effects of climate change and even slight changes in ocean temperature can generate monumental consequences. Through her work as a leader for the Fiji-based FemLinkPacific nonprofit organization, Tuvuki has discovered the unique challenges that climate impacts pose for women. That’s why she’s on a mission to serve as a voice for women in affected communities: “I want to voice my opinions and my views about what I’m facing at the grassroots level for the people at the top of the ladder,” she says. “I’m representing the shy moms, the shy ladies, the shy grandmothers, who cannot come out of their shell and share what they’re going through.”