Australia stands with Pacific women
Today, the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women brought together Pacific decision-makers, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations to discuss the challenges to gender equality in the region, including the impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls. I welcomed the discussion on practical measures towards gender equality and the full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific.
I thank the Conference hosts French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch and Minister for Family, Social Affairs and Women Isabelle Sachet and Pacific Community (SPC) Director-General Stuart Minchin for convening this important event.
Gender equality is an important shared priority that will support the region’s COVID-19 recovery. Australia is working closely with Pacific partners, including core regional organisations, the Pacific Islands Forum and SPC, to ensure that all women and girls across the Pacific have the right to safety and to participate fully in social and economic opportunities.
The Triennial Conference underlined the leadership of women across the Pacific, particularly in such a time of crises. When women and girls participate in problem solving and decision making it benefits everyone.
Australia is increasing our support for regional gender equality through the new Pacific Women Lead program, of $170 million over 5 years. This will complement Australia’s existing bilateral gender partnerships.
Pacific Women Lead will be delivered with Pacific partners including the SPC. It will focus on women’s leadership and women’s rights including safety, health and economic empowerment.
When we work in partnerships with women in this way we are not only improving the lives of women and girls, we are also contributing to the prosperity, security and stability of whole societies across the region.
Australia is working with partners to accelerate gender equality action in our Pacific region.