20110801 Gender Equality-Gender Issues and Responses in the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative


1. Women’s contributions to poverty reduction, economic growth, and private sector development are increasingly recognized globally. Currently, in both development discourse and practice, women are considered an integral part of development strategies. A growing amount of research demonstrates the link between women’s empowerment and societal wellbeing. Yet research also indicates that opportunities for women’s economic advancement continue to lag behind improvement in women’s health and education. It appears that a variety of obstacles still prevent them from fully contributing to the economy in many parts of the world.


























2. This paper discusses and evaluates gender issues inherent in ADB’s Pacific Private

Development Initiative (PSDI) in order to assess the extent to which PSDI contributes to

women’s economic empowerment in the region and suggests additional responses that will

further its impact. The paper also identifies programs currently underway which are outside the

remit of PSDI but which are making an important contribution to women’s economic


3. The conclusions of the paper are based on extensive interviews, surveys and focus

group meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders in the Pacific island countries. These

included government (particularly women’s ministries); multi- and bi-lateral donors, banks and

microfinance institutions, civil society, businesswomen’s networks, women entrepreneurs, and

private and public entities. The conclusions of the paper build upon the experience achieved

through the implementation of PSDI activities and its impact on gender issues.