Achieving women’s economic empowerment in the Pacific: what needs to change?

Women make significant contributions to their countries’ economies yet they face critical structural and social barriers. These barriers are tightly intertwined with cultures and tradition, political systems, access to education and resources and the realities of life in Pacific Island states.

Despite these serious challenges, Pacific women are seizing the opportunity to shape their own futures and the lives of their families and communities.

From 27–30 May 2019, the Pacific Women Regional Learning Forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment will bring together women and men from the informal and formal sectors, government, regional organisations, civil society and research organisations to share lessons and explore options for driving change.

Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Anna Dorney, said:

‘we are taking our cue from the resilient women in our region who are achieving economic opportunities for themselves. As partners for gender equality, we support opportunities that allow women to fulfil their needs and visions of the future for themselves, their families and communities. We have much to learn from the women we work with, and from what we have already done together, to empowering women sustainably now and in the future.’

Participants will identify ways that the Pacific Women program can learn from its partners and adapt to better support programming, policy and research.

Speakers and participants will consider the theme of ‘recognising and achieving women’s economic empowerment in the Pacific Island region: what needs to change?’ This includes discussing how social norms influence women’s economic empowerment, ensuring programming is inclusive of all women and enabling the policy and structural change that is required to make women’s economic empowerment a reality.

The three-day event will take place at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.