Inaugural Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders meeting opens today


The inaugural Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders meeting, which will be hosted by the Fijian Government will be held virtually on Thursday, marking a significant milestone for the Pacific gender agenda.

Forum Ministers for Women will examine the role of women and girls in Pacific futures, with a keen focus on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, the climate change crisis and disaster risk responses, and the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific continent.

A major review of the 2012 Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, which is set to go before Forum Leaders, will be presented and discussed at the PIF Women Leaders Meeting.

Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, who is the head of the delegation representing the host country, will be chairing the meeting. The virtual event will deliver outcomes and recommendations to the Forum Leaders for their 51st Forum meetings in 2022.

“It is vital that the voices and vision of our Pacific women, in all their diversity and experience, shape the futures of their communities, nations, and our one Blue Pacific continent—without that inclusive approach, sustainable development is impossible. [I know] we are all looking forward to getting to the heart of the challenges impacting our communities through and beyond COVID and sharing solutions and ideas to ensure the dream for our Pacific future is a dream for all Pacific people,” she said.

Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, said the Women Leaders meeting “will also ensure we keep the spotlight on gender equality commitments such as the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration. It’s also an important opportunity for our secretariat to ensure we work smarter and better with all regional organisations on the regional and global gender agenda