Women United Together Marshall Islands

A not-for-profit NGO, WUTMI was established in 1987 to strengthen the voice of women in the Marshall Islands, bringing together the common goals of individual women’s organisations from across the Republic's 24 major atoll communities in one united organisation.

Founded upon grassroots networking and outreach projects, WUTMI is dedicated to empowering Marshallese women through cultural preservation, capacity-building, sustainable development, and human rights advocacy. WUTMI also provides advocacy and technical support in social and gender issues. 

As its reach has expanded throughout the Republic, WUTMI has refocused its own goals, improving  institutional, managerial and technical functions. It has eight full-time and 16 part-time staff, servicing 1000 members. Every two years, the WUTMI General Assembly brings together 24 chapters from around the country (plus two international chapters) to share their successes, obtain training, and network. 

Location

In 2000, WUTMI opened its current office in Majuro – the capital and largest city of the Marshall Islands. Majuro occupies a large coral atoll of 64 islands enclosing a lagoon of 295 km2, with a land area of 9.7 km2, featuring a port, shopping district, hotels, and international airport. The main centre houses a population of over 20,000 and there is a large expatriate community of Americans, Filipinos, and some Australians and New Zealanders. The highest elevation is less than 3 metres above sea level and popular pastimes include swimming, snorkelling, diving, wind-surfing, and visiting beautiful, uninhabited islets. There are also active fishing and yacht clubs.

Assistance required

WUTMI staff members need additional training and advisory support in project management and fundraising, thereby improving the effectiveness and impact of their work. The Marshall Islands' economy is largely based on US aid and better project results will  improve chances of continued and expanded donor support. WUTMI currently does not have funding to pay for this kind of mentoring and there isn’t a Marshallese available locally to provide this expertise.

Impact

WUTMI staff have been supported through the Australian Volunteers program, an Australian Government initiative, to deliver a number of successful programs throughout the islands, many of which are ongoing. These range from simple training in computer skills to the more complex Training To Improve Parent Skills (TIPS) project that served 120 parents of young children, or in the organizational development of a turtle data collection project that was ranked #1 in the Pacific. WUTMI has been the leading voice on violence against women in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, its powerful advocacy resulting in the passing of the Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Act 2011.