UNIVERSITY of the South Pacific graduate Ofa Ki Haileni Taumoefolau Tolu believes more women should stand up and advocate development issues in their communities.
The 45-year-old from Nukualofa in Tonga was one of 717 people who graduated from USP in Suva yesterday.
Mrs Tolu, who graduated with a postgraduate diploma in development studies, says the world is evolving and women play a leading role in development.
"I have six children and I am married to a pastor. When this opportunity to study came up, I thought why not?
"I have a different role to play but I know I can be an impact of change in my family, my church and my community," she said.
"Women need to realise that they are very prominent people in the society, irrespective of what role they play. We can play a leading role in development even from our kitchen or our offices."
She stood proudly at the graduation ceremony as she graduated in front of the chancellor of USP, the King of Tonga.
As the King departed the venue and everyone stood quietly in respect, Mrs Tolu chanted the tue.
"It is a happy chant, a spirit of happiness that is only bestowed to the King."