Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) is a 10-year $320 million commitment from Australia to improve the political, economic and social lives of women living in the Pacific. Commencing in 2013, Pacific Women supports 14 Pacific countries to meet the commitments made in the 2012 Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Gender Equality Declaration. Pacific Women works with Pacific governments, civil society organisations, the private sector, and multilateral, regional and United Nations agencies to achieve its four intended outcomes:
1. Leadership and Decision Making
Women, and women’s interests, are increasingly and effectively represented and visible through leadership at all levels of decision making.
2. Economic Empowerment
Women have expanded opportunities to earn an income and accumulate economic assets.
3. Ending Violence Against Women
Violence against women is reduced and survivors of violence have access to support services and to justice.
4. Increased Agency
Women in the Pacific will have a stronger sense of their own agency, supported by a changing legal and social environment and through increased access to the services they need.
Pacific Women offers a remarkable opportunity not only to harness resources to the service of gender equality and women’s empowerment, but also to inspire and galvanise a common purpose and focus for work towards women’s rights as equal citizens in the Pacific.
An important element of Pacific Women is the delivery of support through individual country plans for the 14 countries. These plans provide the detail on what will be funded and how these funding decisions are made. Programs are primarily delivered at the country level through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Posts – with each Post having a Gender Focal Point. Individual country plans have been developed – in close consultation with Pacific women and men, their organisations and national governments – to guide implementation of activities. Regional and multi-country activities are funded to address common issues across the region and to complement and build on country activities. Since inception, approximately $90 million has funded over 100 activities. As a result, in the last four years:
- 22,217 women have increased access to crisis support services
- 3,495 have access to financial information and literacy
- 2,548 women have had formal opportunities to share their ideas and learn from each other
- 692 men have actively engaged in promoting gender equality (in the reporting period of July 2015-June 2016
- 9,385 women were supported to take on leadership roles at the community, provincial and national-level
Pacific Women Advisory Board
Pacific Women is guided by an Advisory Board of twelve eminent Pacific Island women and men. Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls is an observer to the Board. The Pacific Women Advisory Board provides advice on the strategic direction of Pacific Women and reflects the Australia’s commitment to a Pacific-led response to improving the opportunities for political, economic and social advancement of Pacific women.
Members of the Advisory Board are:
- Ms Andie Fong Toy, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s Economic Governance and Security programme, (Fiji/Regional);
- Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, Secretary, Department of Justice and Attorney-General (PNG);