Fiji National University (FNU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Toby Wilkinson strongly hopes that the world post-COVID will be more compassionate, in which personal relationships and a common humanity are valued alongside economic benefit and financial gain.

Prof Wilkinson made these comments while speaking at the International Women’s Day celebration at FNU Nasinu Campus today. The theme for the event was ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 world.’The senior academic said if that world is to come into being, we need women leaders now more than ever.

“We need to show that a more humane and inclusive model of leadership is not only possible but essential. That a time of great change demands a diversity of voices and experiences. That the old, command-and-control model of big-men dictating to the rest of the society has run its course,” said Prof Wilkinson.

“Women and men alike, on this International Women’s Day, let us commit ourselves to that better, kinder future.”Professor Wilkinson said he was proud to be the Vice-Chancellor of a university where both the Chair and the Deputy Chair of the Council are successful and professional women in their own right.

“In my opinion, the fact that the FNU Council is highly effective and the fact that its Chair and Deputy Chair are both women is no coincidence.”

The VC believes the fight for women’s empowerment requires men to stand up and be counted. Prof Wilkinson said “if having oppressed and suppressed women for countless generations, men expect women to fight alone for equality and justice, that is a double insult. In this spirit of humility and recognising that for women to achieve their goals, men need to change.

”A panel discussion was also organised as part of the celebrations, where Acting Chancellor Tessa Price, Acting Deputy Chair Dr Nur Bano Ali, FNU Registrar Sarita Devi and Dean College of Humanities and Education (CHE) Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba shared their challenges and life-experiences with staff and students.

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