A GROUP of upcoming young legal professionals were selected to travel to Washington DC to participate in a six-week training course on women's legal rights.
They will study under the Pacific Fellows Women's Rights Program which is co-administered by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) through its School of Law.
The training is supported by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Professional Fellows Program and runs from April 11 to May 22.
The program aims to educate participants on steps they can take in their home countries to affect positive change towards the legal needs of women and their communities and empower women to demand their rights.
A statement from USP said participants were expected on their return to provide better legal advice, assist and spearhead innovative responses to violence against women, strengthen existing networks of legal advocates in the Pacific working to advance women's rights.
Participants are also expected to foster links between the American and Pacific women's rights communities to leverage the effectiveness and impact of the exchange strengthening legal responses and frameworks for women in the Pacific.
The majority of participants who are from a variety of Pacific island countries are USP alumni and underwent a two-day orientation program in Suva - conducted by ABA-ROLI representatives, Catherine Scott and Lynda Tabuya of USP's School of Law.
Participant Liliwaimanu Vuiyasawa believes the exposure gained through the program will provide her with the necessary skills to better understand policy and legal service needs of women in her country and help develop her career.