Photo: This International Women’s Day directors from several SPC divisions joined a Panel Discussion, as part of the ‘One-SPC Event for International Women’s Day’. Credit: SPC


On International Women’s Day we celebrate the achievements of women but we also take time to reflect on progress made, and re-double our efforts to address the challenges ahead.  

"We want a Pacific where women and girls are safe and equitably share in resources, opportunities and decision-making with men and boys”.

At SPC, we do this as a team, women and men from different divisions working together towards a common goal – we want a Pacific where women and girls are safe and equitably share in resources, opportunities and decision-making with men and boys. This International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting the broad range of gender equality programming across SPC − their positive effects and challenges.  

We know that when women are supported with equitable opportunities it benefits our people as well as our environment. Examples of this range from a solar boat project in Fiji changing mindsets around traditionally male-oriented roles, to targeted Pacific training increasing women leaders in the health sector, and agriculture’s organic value chains work in Palau advancing women farmers from the taro patch to the policy table. These examples are detailed below.  

“Everyone benefits from gender equality.”  

Everyone benefits from gender equality. However, it requires dedicated work and commitment to provide equitable opportunities for women – not just equal numbers of women and men in a workshop, but making sure women's voices contribute to decision making and resulting opportunities, just as easily as men can.  

With an unequal distribution of unpaid care work and gendered societal expectations – change is not easy. There’s no magic bullet or quick fix. But there are key points in time where we can reflect and recommit ourselves to progress all Pacific peoples’ rights and well-being through science and knowledge, guided by our deep understanding of Blue Pacific contexts and cultures.   

This International Women’s Day we celebrate women across the Pacific – and globally – for their dedication over generations to work toward a Pacific where all people, both women and men, can participate equally in all aspects of life. We celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.  While we reflect on progress made, we also need to acknowledge the challenges ahead that still limit the ability of women and girls to access services, to make decisions in their homes and communities, and to be equal alongside men to work together to make this the best Pacific it can be.