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The Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration was announced at the Pacific Islands Forum in August 2012 in Rarotonga. It brought new determination and invigorated commitment to efforts to lift the status of women in the Pacific and empower them to be active participants in economic, political and social life.
Leaders expressed their deep concern that despite gains in girls’ education and some positive initiatives to address violence against women, overall progress in the region towards gender equality is slow. In particular Leaders are concerned that women’s representation in Pacific legislature remains the lowest in the world; violence against women is unacceptably high; and that women’s economic opportunities remain limited.
Leaders agreed that progress on the economic, political and social positions of women should be reported on at each Forum Leaders meeting. They directed the Forum Secretariat, with the support of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Development Partners, to develop, as part of the Pacific Plan performance monitoring framework and annual report to Leaders on country progress in implementing the above commitments and moving towards achieving greater gender equality.
This paper sets out some principles and possible indicators for a reporting framework.
1. Progress indicators to be based on development outcomes relevant to the Declaration e.g. political participation, economic empowerment, violence against women, health, education.
2. Minimise reporting burden by using statistics, data and reporting requirements already available e.g. MDGs, Pacific Plan.
3. Indicators are to track individual country progress, not set regional targets or to compare countries.
4. Simplicity: maximum 15 – 20 indicators, easily tracked and reported.
5. Indicators will be based on existing, country level data and indicators where possible. Data must be available annually if possible. Census data is not helpful given variations in timing, methodologies across countries.
6. Aligned around current regional and global commitments