Being the first: women leaders in the Pacific Islands

Spark, C, Cox, J and Corbett, J 2018, Being the first: women leaders in the Pacific Islands, Developmental Leadership Program, Birmingham, United Kingdom


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Being the first: women leaders in the Pacific Islands
Author(s) Spark, C
Cox, J
Corbett, J
Year of publication 2018
Publisher Developmental Leadership Program
Place of publication Birmingham, United Kingdom
Subjects Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Social Change
Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Abstract/Summary Recent policy and academic writing on women in the Pacific has focused on the barriers women in the region experience when seeking to participate in formal politics. This paper contributes to the small body of work that seeks to explain how some women defy these barriers, are elected to parliament and achieve high office. The paper focuses on the experiences of three women: President Hilda Heine from the Marshall Islands; the Honorable Fiame Naomi Mata'afa from Samoa; and Dame Carol Kidu from Papua New Guinea. All have won senior leadership positions in their respective governments. As the 'first' women to reach the apex of parliamentary politics in the Pacific, their stories offer valuable insights for donors and other reformers seeking to address gender imbalance both in the Pacific and beyond.
Commissioning body Developmental Leadership Program/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
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