Alt text for imageUNDP has helped women's committees in villages sell and promote handicraft making as a way of earning a living. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa MCO.

Despite constitutional guarantees, across the Pacific men and women do not have the same opportunities when it comes to decision-making, accessing justice, and participating in the economy.

For development to benefit both women and men of the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau, the UNDP promotes gender equality across all of its work. The aim is to incorporate — into all key development programmes — clear gender equity targets and accountability for meeting these particularly to making real inroads towards increasing the income of women at the household level through more and better jobs, and access to health care and education.

Women in the Pacific, generally defer to the men for decision-making and leadership, often at their expense, therefore the MCO has increased its efforts to bring about change at both the policy and community levels through training of village leaders in good governance principles and human rights.

To realize this commitment, UNDP works closely with UNIFEM and other UN Agencies to build the capacity of UN staff in this area.