Cook Islands Country Plan Review

Representatives of the Cook Islands National Council of Women were part of stakeholder discussions for the Pacific Women Cook Islands Country Plan review. Photo: Sarah Boxall, Pacific Women Support Unit.

The Cook Islands was the first country to develop a country plan after Pacific Women was announced in August 2012. The Cook Islands Country Plan (2013-2015) was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders with implementation led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Gender and Development Division.

The first Country Plan focused on two priority areas of the Cook Islands Government’s Gender and Women’s Empowerment Policy (2011-2016) – women’s economic empowerment and eliminating violence against women.

A review team visited Cook Islands to assess progress under the first Country Plan from 12-17 September 2016. Consultations took place with key stakeholders including government, civil society and key implementing partners such as Punanga Tauturu Incorporated, the Chamber of Commerce and the Cook Islands National Council of Women.

A half day workshop was held with key stakeholders to reflect on progress under the first Country Plan and identify priorities for the second Country Plan to cover the next three years. The group reflected on progress made in developing a referral system for responding to violence against women and training opportunities for women in small business and public service middle management.

A Family Law Bill is expected to pass through Parliament in 2017 which will be an important opportunity to make further progress in gender equality and women’s empowerment. Pacific Women will continue to work closely with the Gender and Development Division to identify priorities for the next three years that will build on the progress made under the first Country Plan.