Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific Programme

 Advance Gender Justice

Increasing women’s participation in leadership and decision-making has proven to be good for economic and social development, and, as such, Pacific governments are developing more gender-responsive legislation and positive perceptions about women as leaders are also starting to spread.

There is still a long way to go: Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) have the world’s lowest levels of representation of women in parliaments (3.2%)1 and local government2.

This absence of women in decision-making and leadership in the Pacific is largely a result of negative gender stereotypes, encouraged by socio-cultural norms and processes such as inherently biased justice structures and systems.

UN Women’s Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific (AGJP) programme targets both sides of this equation through two initiatives:

  • The Pacific Women’s Access to Justice and Human Rights Initiative (Women’s Rights Initiative) to promote harmonised human rights reporting as well as de-jure and de-facto implementation of CEDAW.
  • The Gender-Responsive Political Governance Initiative to promote women’s political participation and representation and gender responsiveness of state structures, systems and processes.

The programme has been designed using nationally-identified priorities that acknowledge and highlight the complexity in changing social norms, values and cultural practices around human rights, access to justice and women’s political participation.

UN Women works to enhance the gender-responsiveness of justice and political governance systems by supporting government and civil society partners in implementing:

  • Increased women’s political participation;
  • Harmonised human rights treaties reporting;
  • Gender-responsive access to justice;
  • Women’s engagement in peace and security;
  • Gender-responsive planning and budgeting.

Find out more about the AGJP programme



1. Measures taken and progress achieved in the promotion of women and political participation, UN SG Report, 2011.

2. Women’s Representation in Local Government in the Asia Pacific- Status Report, UNDP, 2010.