The threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in unwinding progress towards gender equality will be a focus of the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 7th Meeting of Pacific Ministers of Women, to be hosted by French Polynesia next month.
The Triennial will take place from 27-29 April 2021, followed by the 7th Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women on 4 May 2021. Given the travel restrictions still being observed across the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings will be held through a combination of in-person and virtual discussions.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected women and girls across the Pacific and threatens women’s human rights in the region. The Conference and Ministers Meeting is an opportunity for government ministers and decision-makers, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations, to work together and identify measures to counter this threat, and to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the region.
The conference will focus on the following issues which the governments have identified as priorities for the region: gender-based violence, gender responsive climate justice, and women’s economic empowerment. Woven throughout the programme will be the cross-cutting themes of COVID-19 and crisis situations and new ways of working, women in leadership and decision making, gender data and statistics, and intergenerational dialogue – perspectives of youth.
Miles Young, Director of the Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division, said, “We hope the meetings result in agreement on practical actions towards gender equality in the Pacific, which countries and territories in the region will implement, and that resources are made available to implement the actions.”
The Conference is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in implementing the revised Pacific Platform for Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights, a key regional policy commitment that reflects the legacy of collaboration between Pacific governments, the Pacific women's movement and the Pacific Community (SPC).
SPC hosted the first Triennial Conference of Pacific Women more than 40 years ago with the goal of creating a space for Pacific women to meet, share experiences and identify measures for the advancement of women in the region. The socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the challenges that women and girls face in the Pacific and reaffirmed that gender equality is inextricably linked to achieving sustainable development.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future – Empowering All Women in the Blue Pacific Continent”.
Kalpana Nizarat, HRSD Communications Officer | E: [email protected]