30 Aug 2012

Australia's leader says economic development key part of Pacific women's fund

6:21 pm on 30 August 2012

Australia has announced a 330 million US dollar initiative to help women in the Pacific.

The money will be spent over ten years on supporting gender equality in parliaments, economic opportunities, and to improve safety for women.

Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says gender equality isn't just about fairness to women, but also about economic development.

"If women are politically participating as equals that's a key indicator of social governance. We know that food security is advanced by enabling women to work in the agricultural sector. We know that if there was a better distribution between men and women of agrictultural work that up to 150 million more people would be nourished around our globe."

Julia Gillard says she is pleased to see that Pacific leaders are discussing gender issues at this week's Pacific Islands Forum.