Design of 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 the current Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program 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.  The Pacific Women Lead program will be a regional program that supports some regional as well as bilateral investments.


DFAT plans to complete the design for Pacific Women Lead by January 2021, with early harvest activities commencing from February 2021.  DFAT will ensure a smooth transition from Pacific Women Shaping Development to ‘Pacific Women Lead’, over the course of 2021.

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.

Consultations & opportunity for written input

The Design Team will be holding targeted consultations in November and December with the Pacific Women Advisory Board and other stakeholders across the region to seek ideas and suggestions on the new program.  These consultations will gather input for the overall program and on the three general themes of:

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

The Design Team is keen to hear about priorities and approaches within these general themes as well as other high-level themes that should also be considered for inclusion in the program.

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.

The Design Team would welcome written suggestions and ideas.  If you would like to provide your comments or ideas to support the design of ‘Pacific Women Lead’, you are invited to do so via this form:

For more information, email or refer to this webpage: Pacific Women Lead Design – FAQs