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Pacific Women Lead is a 5-year (2021–2026) regional program enabling Australia and the Pacific to work in partnership to strengthen regional gender equality efforts, building on a long history of engagement in this area.

Program goal

Pacific women and girls, in all their diversity, are safe and equitably share in resources,
opportunities and decision-making, with men and boys.

Pacific Women Lead works toward achieving three end of program outcomes:

Building on the almost 10-year long-term Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program(link is external), the new Pacific Women Lead program is one of the largest global commitments to gender equality.

Gender equality continues to be a shared priority for Pacific Island countries and Australia. As suggested by the name of the program, Pacific women will lead the program, define the problems and create locally-led solutions. Pacific Island people will drive strategy through a Governance Board with a strong and diverse membership from across the region, at least two thirds of whom will be Pacific women.


Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, announced the AUD170 million, five-year commitment for Pacific Women Lead at the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women in April 2021. This investment complements Australia’s existing bilateral gender partnerships.

Commencing in 2021, Pacific Women Lead supports Pacific-led approaches and prioritises Pacific voices and ownership, through the establishment of a new Governance Board and new strategic partnerships with Pacific organisations.

Pacific Women Lead is being delivered through a hybrid model with Pacific partners – with the Pacific Community (SPC) as ‘host’, along with Pacific women led civil society organisations (including women's funds, coalitions and women’s organisations in the Pacific), and an enabling contractor. Within SPC, Pacific Women Lead sits in the Human Rights & Social Development (HRSD) Division.

For more information about the program’s design, refer to the high-level design framework(link is external).