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In 1994, Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) adopted the first regional instrument to promote gender equality: the Pacific Platform for Action on the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality (PPA). The Platform, which formed the basis of the Pacific region’s contribution at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, included 13 critical areas of concern related to health, education and training, economic empowerment, agriculture and fishing, legal and human rights, shared decision-making, environment, culture and the family, mechanisms to promote the advancement of women, violence, peace and justice, poverty, and indigenous people’s rights.
The PPA was reviewed in 2004 to assess achievements, challenges and obstacles. The 13 critical areas of concern were then clustered into four strategic themes:
- Mechanisms to promote the advancement of women
- Women’s legal and human rights – including targets for the elimination of violence against women, women’s political leadership and access to justice
- Women’s access to services – with a specific focus on health and education
- Economic empowerment of women
In 2013, the Twelfth Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the Fifth Pacific Women’s Ministerial Meeting called for an independent review of the Revised PPA as part of a process for assessing how the Pacific agenda for women’s advancement and gender equality should be taken forward at the end of the term of the RPPA in 2015.
The new Pacific Platform for Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights 2018–2030 takes into account existing regional and international instruments for promoting gender equality, such as the 2012 Pacific Leaders’ Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and commitments made by PICTs to progress gender equality. These commitments include national gender policies, the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the SAMOA Pathway, the Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The objective of the Pacific Platform for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights is to accelerate the implementation of gender commitments at all levels in order to achieve gender equality and the promotion and protection of the human rights of all women and girls, in all their diversity.
This brief has two parts. The first part provides background information on the status of implementation of regional commitments to gender equality, specifically in the critical areas identified by the RPPA. The second part presents the new Pacific Platform for Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights (PPA 2018–2030), identifying strategic objectives for accelerating progress towards gender equality and the implementation of national and regional commitments, and for achieving meaningful outcomes for women and men in the region.