The sixty second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) was held from the 12th – 23rd March 2018. The priority theme for CSW62 was “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”
A Pacific Islands Forum group statement was delivered by the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Her Excellency Hilda Heine on 12 March 2018 which highlighted the many challenges that are exacerbated by the impact of climate change and natural disasters affecting agricultural, fisheries and tourism sectors that most of our Pacific women are engaged in through informal economy to support their families and to improve their livelihood. The issues of gender based violence, unpaid and unrecognized work and access to basic justice and health services remains a challenge. The Pacific Islands Forum’s Framework for Pacific Regionalism and the 2012 Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration underpins our region’s collective and country level efforts to support gender equality and the empowerment of women. Strengthening sustainable partnerships with the inclusion of civil society and private sector to support the current regional frameworks is key to addressing the challenges.
A national statement was delivered by H.E Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia on 15 March 2018 focusing on initiatives that the Government of Samoa in collaboration with its partners is implementing at national level to try and address the challenges in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in rural areas.
Samoa as the current chair also hosted a Pacific Roundtable event at the margins of the CSW62 which brought together government officials and Pacific civil society groups to share views and discuss on national and regional priorities and challenges around the CSW theme. This Roundtable also provided an open space for the civil society to comment on the Draft Agreed Conclusions.
The Pacific Island Forum members with Missions in New York supported by the CROP agencies (Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities) worked collaboratively with the civil society to strengthen the language of the PIF’s proposals that were included and reflected in the final outcome of the CSW62.