Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Gender is relevant to all the work of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat because it determines the different developmental needs and interests of various groups of women, men, girls and boys in our member countries. Without giving due emphasis to gender analysis, regional policies and programmes may not benefit Pacific people equally, with the needs and interests of women and girls more likely to be overlooked.

Participants at the CSW 57th Session preparatory workshop held at the Forum Secretariat in Suva in 2013

Investing in gender equality is central to sustainable development, attainment of human and political security, good governance and management of resources. A gender approach equally takes into account the different knowledge, roles and responsibilities of women and men and recognises that, to affect long-term positive change in the conditions of communities and nations, actions and attitudes about men’s and women’s roles and rights in society must change. Thus, gender is a critical and cross-cutting consideration in development policy and planning. Failure to strive for gender equality creates an opportunity cost ill afforded by Forum Island Countries, as their development is reliant on maximising the potential of all its human resources.

Moreover, Forum member countries are party to a range of international and regional commitments to improve gender equality in social, economic and political spheres of life, including the Pacific Plan which has a specific strategic objective for improved gender equality.

Regional policies and programmes can positively assist member countries' to achieve their commitments to advancing gender equality in all sectors if they use gender analysis as an informative tool. The Forum Secretariat adopted a Gender Policy in 1998 which provides the organisational internal mandate for gender mainstreaming of all work of the Secretariat. The Secretariat also has a gender work programme implemented by staff recruited specifically to work on a range of gender issues.

 Click here to view/download our gender publications

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