The Australian Government, through Pacific Women, has committed approximately $3.9m over 10 years (2012–2022) on initiatives to support women’s empowerment in Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
There are two key documents providing information about the gender equality work in RMI:
- Country Plan Summary: an overview of all the activities and partners for RMI.
- Country Brief: a snapshot of project highlights.
(cumulative to June 2019 unless otherwise stated)
Community awareness and outreach
- 2,400 people reached including those on remote outer islands through community education campaigns on ending violence against women by Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).
- 40 police officers trained in survivor-centred, rights-based responses to best support survivors of violence against women and girls, by Weto in Mour.
- 20 teachers trained on basic elements of child safeguarding.
Crisis support services
- 60 women have accessed crisis services through Weto in Mour since 2016.
- Weto in Mour has supported 42 per cent of its clients to apply for Protection Orders and 38 per cent of its clients obtained Protection Orders.
Leadership and Decision Making
- Co-funding support for the inaugural Micronesian Women’s Conference in August 2017, along with the European Union and other partners, assisted to bring together women leaders and representatives from RMI, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau and Guam. Ministers, elected representatives and senior government officials in Micronesia signed the Jined Kiped Declaration committing to recommendations to accelerate progress toward gender equality, with an emphasis on climate change and disability.
Ending Violence against Women
- Pacific Women has supported the feasibility study, pilot project and establishment of RMI’s first domestic violence crisis support services in 2016, called Weto in Mour and managed by WUTMI. Weto in Mour provides emotional, psychosocial and financial support survivors of violence and works to improve referral systems between service providers.
- 40 police officers from Kwajalein and Majuro Atoll can better respond to survivors of violence against women and girls following training in survivor-centred, rights-based frontline responses including use of the network of referral services coordinated by Weto in Mour.
- Funding for organisational strengthening support for governance and operations is provided to WUTMI, as the leading women’s organisation in RMI.
- The RMI government is increasing its capacity to generate sex disaggregated data, and to use those gender statistics to guide national policy and decision-making, evaluation and learning, and human rights reporting. This is resulting from support to the Pacific Community (SPC) Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific (PGEP) project.
Pacific Women partners in Country
Government of RMI: Ministry of Cultural and Internal Affairs; Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce.
RMI civil society partners: Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI); Marshal Islands Service Corporation (MISCO), the Chamber of Commerce and the Handicraft Association
Other partners: Australian International and Community Relations Office; Department of the House of Representatives; Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre; Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM); the Pacific Community (SPC) and its POETCom, Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific and Regional Rights Resource Team; UNICEF and Pacific Women’s regional partners.
Stories of Change
The Pacific may have the reputation for having a tropical climate, but RMI has a long history of low rain falls. During 2015–2016 the drought situation was so severe that the Governments of RMI and the United States of America declared it a disaster. Gender experts helped to ensure that the assessment and responses to the disaster took into account the needs and experiences of both men and women.READ MORE
Study tours are an effective way for people from countries with similar contexts to expand their knowledge on development issues. Funded under the Australian aid program’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative, the staff from Women United Together in Marshall Islands (WUTMI) travelled to Hawaii to share experiences and ideas with Hawaiian counterparts on approaches to ending violence against women.READ MORE