17 Jul 2014

Pacific women politicians meet in Tonga

2:06 pm on 17 July 2014

The Australian government will host a meeting with Pacific women politicians in Tonga tomorrow to discuss ways they can overcome barriers to leadership.

It will be run by Australia's ambassador for women and girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja, and bring together more than 30 women politicians and senior government officials from around the region.

Pacific women are under-represented in their parliaments, making up about five percent of MPs, compared to the global average of 21.7 percent.

The Australian government says improving leadership and decision-making opportunities for women is essential to reducing poverty and promoting economic growth and democracy.

The meeting is part of a 10-year, 300 million US dollar government initiative to improve political and economic opportunities for Pacific women.