Promoting women in leadership in formal and informal spaces as well as across the public, private and community sectors has been a longstanding challenge in the Pacific.
According to Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development’s (Pacific Women’s) Women in Leadership Roadmap Synthesis Report, available evidence suggests that efforts to support women’s leadership require locally-tailored strategies. There is also increasing agreement that change needs to be encouraged at different levels to address women’s individual agency and empowerment, gender relations within families and communities and gender roles within the overarching society and cultural context.
One woman leading change in her country and the region is Hon. Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands. While she did not set out in her career with leadership in mind, she is leading the change in her country. Hon. Rattle outlined that it is the ingrained familial values of partnership that should inform how leadership at all levels should be practiced.
She discussed these issues and more with the Pacific Women Support Unit Communications Coordinator in May 2018: