Our Approach

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) is a 10-year AU$320 million Australian Government commitment to improve the political, social and economic opportunities of women living in the Pacific. Commencing in 2012, 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. Enhanced 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 is managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with strategies and implementation guided by the values and intentions of Pacific people and governments. Approximately 70 per cent of the AU$320 million commitment supports activities at the country level. The remaining 30 per cent supports regional or multi-country activities. More information on activities supported around the region can be found here.

As one of the largest ever commitments to gender equality for the Australian Government, Pacific Women offers a remarkable opportunity not only to harness resources to work with Pacific governments and implementing partners to accelerate the political, economic and social advancement of women across the Pacific.

In the first five years of program implementation, over 160 activities have been funded (approximately AU$132 million) with results including:

  • 10,605 women were supported to take on leadership roles at the community, provincial and national-level
  • 43,833 people have had access to civic and voter education
  • 5,964 women have accessed financial literacy training and financial services
  • 56,076 women have accessed crisis support services
  • 526,785 people have participated in community awareness sessions on ending violence against women
  • 3,409 women have had formal opportunities to share their ideas and learn from each other
  • 1,053 women have attained formal qualifications
  • 3,086 men have undertaken male advocacy training

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 Australia’s commitment to a Pacific-led response to improving the opportunities for the political, economic and social advancement of Pacific women.

Members of the Advisory Board are:

  • Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, Secretary, Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Papua New Guinea);
  • Ms Jane Kesno, Founder and Chairperson of the PNG Women and Children’s Rights Centre and Co-founder of Coalition of Public Sector Women in Leadership (Papua New Guinea);
  • Ms Natalia Palu Latu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Policy and Reform Division, Ministry of Finance and National Planning (Tonga);
  • Reverend Sereima Lomaloma, Ministry Officer, Anglican Diocese of Polynesia and Chairperson of House of Sarah (Fiji);
  • Ms Savina Nongebatu, Office Manager, People with Disabilities (Solomon Islands);
  • Mrs Merilyn Tahi, Coordinator, Vanuatu Women’s Centre (Vanuatu);
  • Ms Lesieli Taviri, Chairperson of the PNG Business Coalition for Women and Chief Executive Officer of Origin LPG (Papua New Guinea);
  • Ms Maere Tekanene, Former Minister of Education (Kiribati);
  • Dr. Colin Tukuitonga, Director General, Pacific Community (Regional/Niue); and
  • Ms Yoshiko Yamaguchi, Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance (Republic of the Marshall Islands)
  • Dr Sharman Stone, Ambassador for Women and Girls (Observer) (Australia)

Full biographies can be accessed here.DFAT’s Pacific Women team – including the Program Director (based in Canberra), Program Manager (based at the Australian High Commission in Suva) and DFAT Gender Focal Points (based at DFAT Country Posts around the region) – use a one-team approach to work together to manage the Pacific Women program.

Support Unit

The Pacific Women Support Unit provides the program with logistical, technical and administrative support and is located in Suva, Fiji, with a sub-office in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Members of the Suva team include the Team Leader, Deputy Team Leader, Gender Specialist, Monitoring & Evaluation Manager, Senior Programs Manager, Finance & Administration Manager, Communications Coordinator, Senior Program Officer Gender, Senior Programs Officer, Program Officer, Knowledge Management & Research Officer, Operations & Administration Officer, and a Finance & Administration Assistant. Due to the large size of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) program, a sub-office has been established in Port Moresby. Staff include the PNG Country Manager, Program Manager, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, Grants Officer, Finance & Administration Officer, and aAdmin and Security Assistant.


Pacific Women has a strong focus on delivering activities in partnership with others and works closely with Governments, Pacific and international NGOs, regional organisations, United Nations agencies, development banks and the private sector. These partners, together with women and men from the Pacific, have the opportunity to shape the program. A cumulative list of partners the program has worked with can be accessed here.

Contact Us

Pacific Women Support Unit

Level 6 Tappoo City – Usher Street Entrance, Suva, Fiji.
GPO Box 19419, Suva, Fiji.
Telephone: +679 3314098

Papua New Guinea Sub-Office

Level 6, PwC Haus, Harbour City, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
PO Box 1826, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea.
Telephone: +675 3201377

Email: information@pacificwomen.org.fj 


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