Pacific Women in Politics Project


UNDP works on relevant aspects of the UN’s newly endorsed Global Framework on Women’s Political Participation where it holds a distinct strategic advantage, to achieve four critical outputs:

  1. Legal frameworks strengthened to promote gender balance throughout the electoral cycle;
  2. A cadre of interested, diverse and capable women political leaders supported at all levels; 
  3. Women are perceived as equally legitimate and effective political leaders as men; and
  4. Women are promoted as leaders in gender sensitive political institutions.

UNDP’s contribution is intended to build on its current activities and complement the existing work of national bodies as well as other development partners, harnessing the organisations’ access to global and Pacific good practice to ensure high quality expertise and locally-contextualised support is offered to national partners to progress this agenda in a sustainable, impactful manner that builds on both organisations previous efforts and puts in place a strong foundation for continued work.

What We Do

At least in theory in the Pacific today, there are no formal obstacles to equal participation in national political and parliamentary processes. However, due to historical and ongoing social, cultural and economic barriers, in practice, there is still a noticeable imbalance in the representation of women and men in Pacific legislatures and sub-national decision-making bodies.

In recognition of this ongoing challenge, the Pacific Plan specifically prioritises the need to improve gender equality. Initiative 12.6 calls on the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to assist with the development of strategies to support participative democracy and consultative decision-making and electoral processes, while Initiative 12.5 calls for support for the implementation of human rights treaties, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, which itself supports temporary special measures. The Revised Pacific Platform for Action for Women 2005-2015 also recommends that governments “take affirmative action in policies and practices that enhance gender parity in political representation”.

Across the region, many local and regional partners are working hard to ensure that women’s voices are increasingly heard in Pacific decision-making forums. A range of different activities are being pursued, but feedback from partners suggests that information-sharing across the region and between partners could still be strengthened. The seeks to fill this gap.

Who finances it?

The Australian Government   USD $202,000

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