Design of a new Gender Equality Program

From Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has initiated the co-design of a new regional gender equality program (tentatively titled ‘Pacific Women Lead’).  The new program will build on the strength of Pacific Women with an emphasis on Pacific women driving this new program. It will need to respond to the impacts of the pandemic on women and girls in our region, as well as to the long-term challenges, such as harmful gender norms.  It will be a regional program that supports some regional as well as bilateral investments.

Design Team

The Design Team includes representatives from DFAT, Pacific Women Support Unit, Pacific Women Advisory Board, and SPC.  This will lend gender technical and Pacific expertise to the design process, and support the objective of co-design with key regional partners. For more information:


DFAT plans to complete the design for Pacific Women Lead by early 2021.  DFAT will ensure a smooth transition from Pacific Women to ‘Pacific Women Lead’, over the course of 2021.


Stakeholder consultations for the design process have been completed.  There will be further opportunities for consultation on the transition to the new program, in 2021.

The Design Team’s targeted consultations with the Pacific Women Advisory Board and other stakeholders across the region sought ideas and suggestions on the new program.  These consultations gathered inputs for the overall program and on the three general themes of:

  • Women’s Health
  • Women’s Safety
  • Women’s Economic Security

The themes will be underpinned by: 1) women’s leadership and agency; and 2) engaging men as champions for change throughout the design and delivery of the whole program.

For more information, email