Pacific Girl

Pacific Girl is a $4.5 million multi-country program to support adolescent girls in Pacific Island countries achieve their full potential. Evidence shows that ‘educated, healthy and skilled adolescent girls will help build a better future, advance social justice, support economic development and combat poverty.’[i] Pacific Girl demonstrates Pacific approaches to supporting adolescent girls and Australia’s commitment to focus on their needs, rights and opportunities.

Managed under the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program, Pacific Girl funds projects with selected civil society organisations in Pacific Island countries:

Country partner project
Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk) Chuuk Women’s Council Young Women’s Empowerment Program (YWEP)
Fiji Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) Girls Arise program
Papua New Guinea Equal Playing Field (EPF) Safe Schools, Strong Communities program
Solomon Islands Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Solomon Islands Girls Rise Up! project
Tonga Talitha Project My Body! My Rights! program
Vanuatu CARE ‘Laef blo mi, vois blo mi’ program

 

These Pacific Girl partners are working to equip adolescent girls to make informed decisions, while engaging with the boys, parents, carers and communities in their lives to build more supportive environments.

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News

‘Don’t be afraid to interrupt!’ Injecting the voices of adolescent girls’ into the COVID-19 pandemic response (26 October 2020)

Webinar: Pacific girls and COVID-19 (15 October 2020)

Pacific girls under the spotlight at the United Nations CRC event in Samoa (3 March 2020)

Believing in themselves, Pacific girls are leading change (2 December 2019)

Minister Payne announced Australian support for Pacific Girl investment with YWCA (13 November 2019)

Pacific Girl – October 2019 networking opportunity (17 October 2019)

Pacific Girls – the next ‘Wonder Women’ (30 July 2018)

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Stories of Change

A Pacific Girl program by Pacific girls (Annual Progress Report 2019)

Pacific girls shaping Pacific development (Annual Progress Report 2017–2018)

What is Pacific Girl?

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Videos

Pacific Girl and COVID-19: This video was produced for the ‘Pacific girls and COVID-19’ webinar, held in commemoration of International Day of the Girl Child 2020. This video features girls from Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu highlighting the issues experienced by girls before and after the global pandemic.

Pacific Girls Speak: This video was developed as part of the design consultation for Pacific Girl – led by Plan International Australia for Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development.

Pacific Girl Song: This song was written and performed by Pacific adolescent girls during their two-day preparatory workshop ahead of the Pacific Girl Regional Stakeholders’ Dialogue (12–16 May 2018 in Suva, Fiji).

What I see, What I hear and What I understand (poetry performance) by Anna Jane Vea: Pre-recorded for the Pacific girls and COVID-19 webinar, the poem ‘What I See, Hear and Understand’ was written for the Pacific Girl webinar and shares the perspective of an adolescent girl growing up in the Pacific. Also available on Facebook.

Dear Society (musical performance) by Mia Kami: Pre-recorded for the Pacific girls and COVID-19 webinar, the song ‘Dear Society’ is for Ms Kami’s sister, reflecting on the damaging expectations that society has of women, and why it’s important for us to support each other. Also available on Facebook.

Day of the Girl solidarity message: Yoshiko Capelle: Yoshiko Capelle from the Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance noted that adolescent girls’ voices are important because the government has a responsibility to ensure that every citizen’s needs are met. Also available on Facebook.

Day of the Girl solidarity message: Virisila Buadromo: Fijian activist Virisila Buadromo emphasised that it is important for adolescent girls to read and learn about the experiences of others and tell their own stories from their perspectives as girls. Also available on Facebook.

Day of the Girl solidarity message: Natasha Stott Despoja AO: Natasha Stott Despoja AO, Australia’s representative (then candidate) for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) urged adolescent girls to speak up because COVID-19 responses need a specific girl focus. Also available on Facebook.

Webinar: Pacific girls and COVID-19: This webinar on adolescent girls and COVID-19 explored the impacts of the pandemic on adolescent girls in the region and the importance of listening to girls and young women in order to develop effective COVID-19 responses. Also available on Facebook.

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Resources

Pacific Girl factsheet: This document is a snapshot of the program, reaching 9,000 young people across 6 countries through the program ‘designed by adolescent girls for adolescent girls’.

Pacific Girl program overview: This document provides an overview of the Pacific Girl program as well as the funded implementing partner’s initiatives, the regional components of the program and the background to the development of the program, including what adolescent Pacific girls had to say about the issues they face.

Pacific Girl Inception Workshop: This page lists the workshop resources including presentations from the partners and regional learning network meetings.

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Research

Pacific Women Thematic Brief: Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent girls in the Pacific: This Thematic Brief provides information and analysis about emerging impacts of COVID-19 on adolescent girls in the Pacific.

Pacific Girl survey: The ‘Pacific Girl Speak Out: COVID-19 Survey’ sought to hear from Pacific girls’ about what they’re feeling, doing and how they’re being impacted during this COVID-19 period.

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More information

Pacific Women recognises the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ and seeks to address the underrepresentation of adolescent girls in decisions that affect them. This includes through involving adolescent girls in program design and delivery.

Pacific Girl has been designed by and for adolescent girls:

  • 220 adolescent girls in six countries (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu) participated in focus group discussions, with some recording their thoughts in the Pacific Girls Speak video.
  • 88 people from 16 countries completed an online survey (including 20 under the age of 20).
  • 20 adolescent girls from Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu participated in the Pacific Girl design workshop, bringing their priorities and solutions to a wide network of stakeholders (35 people from Australia and Pacific Island countries). Some of the adolescent girls wrote and performed a song during the design workshop.

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Grantee partners

Pacific Girl has six grantee partners:

In Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk Women’s Council will reach 150 marginalised girls through a young women’s empowerment course. The curriculum will focus on sexual and mental health, healthy relationships and developing future goals.

In Fiji, the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement’s (FWRM) Girls Arise program will work with girls aged 10–12 to build their life skills and confidence. Pacific Girl will enable FWRM to extend activities to girls outside of the capital Suva, share the organisation’s approach in a toolkit and raise the profile of girls’ issues with decision makers.

In Papua New Guinea, Equal Playing Field (EPF) Safe Schools, Strong Communities program seeks to reduce violence by educating girls and boys about the importance of respectful relationships, using sport as an entry point. Pacific Girl will help EPF reach adolescents in 40 schools (up to 6,000 girls) and work with teachers on establishing Safe Schools Frameworks.

In the Solomon Islands, the Girls Rise Up! project, led by the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in partnership with CARE International, will reach 200 at-risk girls to develop their confidence, skills and knowledge and establish supportive peer networks. Girls will be provided the opportunity to safely advocate on issues that affect them, while service providers will be engaged to support the needs and priorities of the girls.

In Tonga, the Talitha Project’s My Body! My Rights! program will reach 375 girls aged 10–14 in four locations around Tonga, including outer islands. The program will improve community perceptions of girls’ value, amplify girls’ voices through creative media and train girls on health, sex and sexuality education and self-esteem.

In Vanuatu, CARE’s ‘Laef blo mi, vois blo mi’ program will work with girls aged 12–19 in rural and remote areas of Tafea province. Pacific Girl will enable CARE to extend life skills and respectful relationships education to younger adolescents in schools, including around 800 adolescent girls. The program includes male peers, teachers and families to ensure girls are safe and respected.

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[i] LO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO (2010). ‘Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights of
Adolescent Girls: A Joint UN Statement’, United Nations.