Women across the Pacific face serious risk from violence, lack of economic opportunities, under-representation in leadership and limited access to healthcare and education.
We at PPP endorse gender equity, for all people. Our ‘Papua Land of Peace: Civil Society Leadership in Conflict Transformation’ program is committed to improving gender equity, sustainable livelihoods, community health and protecting human rights. All of which elevate the status of women in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Pacific.
With the help of our partners and generous gifts from donors, we are working to build five women’s cooperatives in Manokwari, West Papua. These cooperatives serve a network of over 2,000 West Papuan women.
Who are the powerful women in your community? #PacificWomen. Let us know by filling out this form.
How are Pacific Islander Women being impacted?
“There are enormous barriers in the pacific to the formation of a popular movement among women. The sea is a barrier; communication within and between small island states in costly and difficult… As in all countries, patriarchy is a barrier, casting our thinking into male and female stereotypes and giving privilege to supposedly ‘male’ over allegedly ‘female’ characteristics and roles.”
- Wendy Poussard, Pacific Regional Director for CUSO 1992
Women in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are internationally recognized as being disproportionately impacted by gender inequality. Physical manifestations of gender inequality include:
Violence against women: violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women which can take physical, emotional, financial and sexual forms.
Lack of economic opportunities and compensation: women in the Pacific are often denied access to land, small business loans or a living wage. This means many women aren’t able to be self-sufficient and are stuck in the cycle of poverty.
Under-representation in leadership: women’s representation in Pacific Legislatures are amongst the lowest in the world.
Limited access to healthcare: particularly reproductive health care, which impacts children and future generations. This results in unhealthy children, STIs, unwanted pregnancy and poor health for the mother.
Limited access to education: many parents in rural communities of the Pacific can’t afford to send their children to school. If a choice has to be made, gender norms result in male children being enrolled over the female children.
Pacific Peoples' Partnership is proud to have produced over forty years of programming that centers Pacific women as agents of change. Check out our Tok Blong issue from 1992 on Gender and Development Issues in the South Pacific . This is an entire issue dedicated to sharing women’s voices from the Pacific.
Also take a look at our Tok Blong Pasifik from Autumn 2008 on Fa’afafine The Pacific’s “third gender”. This issue highlights the Samoan concept of Fa’afafine, displaying both male and female characteristics.
How to help:
- Donate to help our Papua Land of Peace project today;
- Contact PPP for information about speaking tours and educational opportunities;
- Attend or volunteer at a PPP event or seminar focused on gender equity in the Pacific;
- Pacific Islanders or North-Pacific Indigenous communities are welcome to Contact PPP for opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking opportunities around gender equity.