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This page collects together publications on issues related to women in politics from both the Pacific and the world. It collects together research documents, campaigning resources and key papers. If you have a publication we have missed, please send it to the PacWIP team at

Practice Parliament for women Training Manual

The idea for a Practice Parliament for Women came about as a direct response to the call from women around the Pacific region to be supported, and to have their political and policy skills developed. This initiative drew on the positive experiences reported from youth parliament forums in the region and elsewhere. The Practice Parliaments are designed to fill some of the gaps in the existing efforts to support women’s political participation by developing a broader set of skills and by giving women participants the opportunity to immediately apply those skills. Responding to the success of this initiative, UNDP has produced this publication to provide guidance to national partners on how to organize and run a Practice Parliament for women.

Author/s: Charmaine Rodrigues Date: 24 March 2017
Institution: UNDP Pacific office File size and type: 1.97 MB (PDF)
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Campaigning as a woman: Promoting Equality and Participation of Women in Politics and Decision-making

This publication is one of a series of tools and publications about women in politics supported by IWDA through the FLOW (Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women) program, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It is the result of a Candidate Debriefing Workshop conducted with women who stood for election in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville general election in May-June 2015. The workshop was organised by the Bougainville Women’s Federation and funded by International Women’s Development Agency, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, in August 2015.
The 2015 Bougainville General Election was significant for women’s political participation in Bougainville. It was only the third election to be held in Bougainville, and represented the greatest number of women candidates ever to stand. 35 women contested, including 12 women who ran against men in open seats (the other 23 standing in the three seats reserved for women in the Bougainville House of Representatives). This election was also the first where a woman, Josephine Getsi, won in an open seat, bringing women’s political representation in the House of Representatives to 10%. Several other women ran strong campaigns and learned much about what it takes to succeed in an election.
The Candidate Debriefing Workshop gave women candidates the opportunity to talk about their experiences and their learnings from the 2015 Bougainville General Election campaign. Campaigning as a Woman focuses on the areas these candidates suggested as important for women to know in order to run effective campaigns. It draws on the candidate experiences to illustrate lessons, challenges, and strategies for overcoming them. It includes comments from candidates who attended the Debriefing Workshop, and case studies telling the campaign stories of five of the women candidates: 
Josephine Getsi, Rose Pihei, Joan Nenoari, Patricia Kapapal, Agnes Titus.
It is hoped that women candidates in future Bougainville elections will find Campaigning as a Women a useful resource to help them to put in place their own winning campaign strategies and plans.
Author/s: Leonie Morgan Date: 01 November 2016
Institution: International Women's Development Agency (IWDA) File size and type: 2.09 MB (PDF)
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FIJI WOMEN'S FORUM: Women in Politics Campaign handbook

This Handbook was initially prepared as a resource for the Candidate Capacity Strengthening Workshop organised by the Fiji Women’s Forum in June 2014. The aim of the Workshop was to assist women candidates to campaign effectively for the September 2014 Fiji election.

Following the election, the Handbook was reviewed and case studies added based on the campaigning experience of the various women candidates. The Handbook includes comments from participants at a debriefing session following the 2014 elections, and candidates interviewed by a Fiji Women’s Rights Movement researcher after the election. It also includes extracts from interviews with Members of Parliament undertaken by FemLINKPACIFIC following the election.

The Handbook provides useful tools and includes practical advice, checklists and questionnaires covering all the key components for a successful election campaign. It is hoped that women candidates in future Fiji elections and those in other Pacific elections will find this Handbook a useful resource to help them develop and implement their own winning campaign strategies and plans.

Author/s: Leonie Morgan and Lesley Clark Date: 01 November 2016
Institution: Fiji Women's Forum File size and type: 9.66 MB (PDF)
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Building Blocks for Gender Equality: What political parties can do to strengthen the participation and representation of women.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women, in partnership with the governments of Samoa and Australia, advocate for women’s political rights and through the implementation of the Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa (IPPWS) programme are providing training for those women who want to run for office. 

IPPWS’ trainings aims at supporting women to overcome the barriers they face by strenghtening their skills to exercise leadership and contribute to political life for the benefit of the entire nation. 

As part of the programme, UNDP and UNWomen have launched today a handbook titled “Building Blocks for Gender Equality: What Political Parties Can Do to Strengthen the Participation and Representation of Women.” The publication was written by Elizabeth Weir, Canadian national and senior international parliamentary expert, that is also facilitating the IPPWS trainings in Samoa. 

 “Political parties have a pivotal role to play in creating an open an inclusive political culture – one where women are welcomed and their opinions valued. It is often said that political parties are the “gateways” to seats in parliaments.” 

Ms. Weir noted that “the publication identifies targeted interventions for promoting the stronger presence and influence of women in political parties. It highlights the benefits for the parties of taking action on Gender Equality, indicate effective measures for ensuring women’s participation in the operations of the party and provide ideas on how to offer financial and mentoring support to candidates during the election process.” 

(Source: UNDP Multi-Country office in Samoa.)

Author/s: Ms. Elizabeth Weir/UNDP Samoa MCO Date: 04 December 2015
Institution: Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa. UNDP Multi-Country office, Samoa. File size and type: 1.08 MB (PDF)
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Research: Aiding Women Candidates in Solomon Islands: Suggestions for Development Policy

This research by Terrence Wood discusses the poor performance of women candidates in Solomon Islands elections and potential aid policy responses. The article outlines women candidates’ performance, details challenges faced by women, examines existing aid work designed to help women candidates and provides policy suggestions.

The article argues that existing aid policy focused on candidate training and voter education has achieved little because the main impediments women candidates face are access to finance and local gatekeepers, alongside more subtle normative constraints. These are barriers that are not easily shifted by training or education programs.

Meanwhile, for reasons of political economy, another area of aid-supported engagement, a parliamentary gender quota, is unlikely to be enacted. Reflecting this, and the nature of the challenges women candidates face, the article recommends donors also undertake work to help prospective women candidates engage.

(Source: Wiley Online Library, Asia & the Pacific Policy studies)

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