Two in three women and girls in the Pacific experience violence in their lifetime, twice above the global average

Women’s rights are challenged all over the world, however, women living in the Pacific face intersecting challenges that can make them all but invisible to the rest of the world.Two in three women and girls in the Pacific experience violence in their lifetime which is twice above the global average.

Initial findings and recommendations from a recent scoping study titled Where is the Money for Women & Girls in the Pacific? Mapping gaps, opportunities and trends for funding in the Pacific were presented at the Women Funded 2019 conference.

The study commissioned by the Fiji Women’s Fund (the Fund) and Urgent Action Fund Asia and the Pacific (UAF A&P) was presented by Michelle Reddy during a panel discussion titled Women of Color: Reshaping Philanthropy.  Also, on the panel were Melanie Brown of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Amalia Delgado of Hispanics in Philanthropy and Andrea Pactor of Women’s Philanthropy Institute.

Other key findings highlighted were:
–  women and girls living with a disability are more likely to experience sexual or physical violence than women and girls without disabilities. [1]
women and girls are severely affected by the impact of global warming and extreme weather events that increase their economic insecurity as well as the physical         vulnerability of women and girls, particularly when displaced to evacuation facilities following extreme weather events.
–   lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex people face laws that criminalise their public and private assertion of themselves as well as threats and attacks on their dignity from institutions and individuals at national and community levels.

Hosted by the Women’s Funding Network, the event brought together over 400 delegates from a myriad of stakeholders such as private sector, national and regional global women’s funds, philanthropists and foundations. The event took place from 11 to 13 September in San Francisco. Using a mixture of plenaries, round-table discussions, and workshops, the conference revolved around four themes namely, On the Frontline, It’s Personal, The Power of Voice and How Money Moves.

The Pacific women’s organisations and disabled people’s organisations are uniquely placed to connect with the millions of women living across the Pacific and help them build a more secure and sustainable life for themselves and their children. However, Pacific women’s organisations need support and resources to do this in a flexible manner that allows them to strengthen their voice and leadership in their community, country, and region.

The Fund and UAF A&P will be releasing the scoping study key findings and recommendations at the Development Policy Centre’s 2020 Australasian AID Conference on Monday 17 February.  Stay tuned for more updates on social media.

[1] UNESCAP Disability in Asia and the Pacific: The Facts