A Fiji Minister says a fear of letting women move forward still exists in the education sector.
Representatives from 18 countries affiliated with the Council of Pacific Education are in Fiji for its conference on campaigning together for change and justice.
At the opening, Fijian Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, told the conference she was asked irrelevant questions which focused on her gender rather than her skills when applying for jobs.
She said those attitudes still exist.
"Come to promotions, school managements would rather have a male principal than a woman principal, that's the truth. I'm a living testament of that and I don't shy away from saying that because those are the barriers ladies and gentlemen that we have to break if we want us to have a balance in power."
Ms Akbar said the aim is not to surpass men but to achieve a balance of power between genders.