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Forum Commitments Only as Good as the Action

Forum Commitments Only as Good as the Action
3RD September, 2012

Having signed up to commitments around gender issues as part of the Pacific Islands Forum, the challenge for New Zealand is to put those commitments into action according to the organisation that represents this country’s international aid and development NGOs, the Council for International Development (CID).

CID Director Wren Green says the Forum has pledged to supporting women’s political involvement and implementing domestic violence legislation which New Zealand, as a member, has endorsed. Australia has taken it a major step further by coming on board with a more than NZ $400 million Pacific initiative to expand women’s leadership and opportunities.

“While the Forum and Australia have made the long-term commitment to improving the lives of women in the Pacific, the voice of the New Zealand government in this area has been muted.”

Dr. Green says this also has to be seen in context of a reduction in New Zealand government funding for women’s programmes in the Pacific over the last four years.

There is mounting evidence that there is a direct link between improving the status and opportunities for women and increased economic performance. CID says a higher profile for gender issues in both New Zealand international development policy and funding would be beneficial.

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