Female Pacific MPs come together in Sydney

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February 4, 2013

Female Pacific politicians will meet this weekend to work on initiatives aimed at helping to lift the numbers of women in their parliaments.

The Pacific Women's Parliamentary Partnerships Forum (PWPPF) is the first important step in new a five-year project funded by AusAID. The forum has been arranged by the w.comm parliamentary group and by the Parliament of Australia under the Pacific Women's Parliamentary Partnerships (PWPP) Project.

Around 40 MPs from the Pacific and Australia will come together to begin planning activities and outcomes for the project, including mentoring and on-the-job training for Pacific women MPs in community engagement and parliamentary skills. MPs will also hear from a number of presenters such as Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Ms Anna Burke, w.comm chair Lisa Baker MP, UN Women representative Tonni Brodber and Harvard Professor Pippa Norris. The forum will also invite the project partners to canvass activities that are being run in the Pacific to empower women MPs, enhance their parliamentary skills, and ensure parliaments in the region can address gender equality issues.

Participants will be asked to develop an outcomes document at the conclusion of the forum to help guide the further development of the project over the next few years.

The PWPP project aims to build capacity of women MPs in the Pacific and develop understanding of the factors that contribute to Pacific women’s success in achieving political office and the support they require once they are elected. The project is funded by AusAID as part of its Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development 10-year initiative. At just four per cent, the Pacific region has the lowest representation of women in parliament of any region in the world.

Full details of the program are posted on the w.comm website: www.wcomm.org

For further updates follow us on Twitter @WcommAus

Forum details: February 9 – 10 Q Station, Manly, Sydney

Contacts:

Media inquiries: Emma O’Sullivan, Parliament of Australia, 02 62772390, 0404 858807

Background information: Sonia Palmieri, PWPP project manager, 02 6277 4885

AusAID media-related inquiries: 0417 680 590

International and Community Relations Office, Suite R1-37 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia Phone: + 61 2 6277 4885 • Fax: + 61 2 6277 2000 • Email: icro@aph.gov.au