In follow-up to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recent travel to East Asia and the Pacific, and as part of the U.S. strategy to deepen investment in women in the region, Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer has announced the new “Women’s Empowerment Initiative in the Pacific Region” in collaboration with the World Bank Group and the governments of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
This initiative will comprise several new partnerships to identify opportunities for developing more effective programs and policy recommendations to support women’s advancement in the Asia Pacific region, including the following:
1) The governments of the United States and Australia will collaborate with the World Bank Group to co-host a policy dialogue in Australia in 2011 on effective means to combat gender-based violence and promote women’s empowerment in the Pacific region. In addition, Australia and the United States will collaborate closely with Papua New Guinea on an integrated approach to combating violence against women and HIV/AIDS. Australia will contribute up to $3 million over the next 5 years to support this initiative. The United States will step up the fight against HIV by doubling its contribution to fight HIV/AIDS in PNG next year, subject to Congressional approval.
2) The Governments of the United States and New Zealand will co-host policy discussions and conduct leadership trainings to strengthen Pacific women’s political participation and economic empowerment. The first will be held February 2011 in New Zealand for Pacific women leaders. The United States will host a follow-up program in fall 2011.
3) In partnership with the World Bank Group, the governments of United States and Papua New Guinea will co-host a policy dialogue for leaders from across the Pacific Islands region in Port Moresby in 2011 on effective means to improve maternal health, increase economic opportunities, and empower women.