New Pacific Partnership addresses gender equality and violence against women

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

This International Women's Day, a new EUR18.2 million regional programme to improve gender equality and address violence against women and girls is being announced.

The new Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

The programme is funded primarily by the European Union (EUR12.7m) with targeted support from the Australian Government (EUR4.9m) and UN Women (EUR0.6m). It will be jointly implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Forum Secretariat) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO).

Ambassador Julian Wilson, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation for the Pacific said: "The European Union is strongly committed to gender equality, the empowerment of women of all ages and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls around the world."

"We are proud to be funding this new and important partnership programme through the 11th European Development Fund in the Pacific, to address the causes of gender inequality and violence against women," he said, adding, "It starts today on International Women's Day and aims to deliver concrete results over the next years, turning each day into a women's day." 

Australia's High Commissioner, John Feakes, said Australia was very pleased to support the new Pacific Partnership through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development programme.

"Recent surveys indicate that over 60 per cent of women in the Western Pacific Region have experienced gender-based violence," Mr. Feakes said. "Women and girls who experience violence deserve accessible and high quality essential services - including health, police, justice and social services - to help them recover. Through the Pacific Partnership we will also work with individuals and communities to consider the influence of social norms, attitudes and behaviours in preventing violence against women and girls." 

The Pacific Partnership aims to transform the social norms that allow violence against women and girls to continue; to ensure survivors have access to quality response services; and to support national and regional institutions to meet their commitments to gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls.

Read the full press release on UN Women Asia Pacific website.