Celebrating our progress, shaping our world

Wednesday 25 September 2013, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea –

The 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women (20–24 October) and the 5th Pacific Ministers for Women Meeting (24, 25 October) will focus on celebrating progress in gender equality in the Pacific Island region and will also discuss the future – that is, where, as Pacific nations, we would like to position gender equality in the post-2015 development agenda at national and regional level.


According to Linda Petersen, Manager of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Human Development Programme, the meetings, which will be hosted by the Cook Islands Government, will centre on reviewing national and regional implementation of gender equality commitments: the Revised Pacific Platform for Action, the Millennium Development Goals, and treaties and conventions, including the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women and UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security).


Ministers, government officials, civil society organisation and development partner representatives – 160 people all told – have registered for the conference, which will link together the past, the present and the future of the women's movement in the Pacific.


Ms Petersen described the agenda: 'We will be setting the stage for conference discussions at the official opening on October 20th with a video tribute to pioneering women human rights defenders from the region, as well as two keynote presentations. Leading Pacific feminist and Asian Development Bank Senior Social Development Specialist (Gender), Imrana Jalal will set the scene for the deliberations by addressing the conference on how economic, social and environmental changes are already affecting women's lives and how they will probably affect the way we live and our relationships in the future. The second keynote is to be given by a representative of Pacific Young Women’s Leadership Alliance, who will share the future young women envisage for themselves, their communities and their children.'


Meanwhile, SPC has welcomed the support of the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) for the media and communication strategy of the conference.


'SPC recognises that the media are a source of empowerment for communities, as information and knowledge enable people to make informed decisions about issues that affect their lives. The main purpose of this media and communication strategy is to enable SPC to create an environment for effective and innovative media coverage,' says Ms Petersen.


The communiqué of the 2005 Pacific Ministers for Women Meeting highlighted the important role of the media in advancing gender equality. Ministers recognised that the media is a powerful tool that can either promote or shut out women’s issues from public discourse. They further recognised the need to work with the media towards changing stereotypical portrayals of women in the media. 



For media inquiries please contact: Linda Petersen, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, B.P. 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Ph: + 682 26 20 00.