‘Women in leadership’ has been a focus of gender-equality advocacy work in the Pacific region over the last two decades. Much of this work has followed a global push for a higher participation of women in parliaments. Efforts by Pacific women’s civil society groups especially have concentrated on policy advocacy, strategies and training for women’s political participation. This emphasis however has to a large extent sidelined attention to other arenas of government, namely the public sector, where women’s leadership is also prominent. Women’s appointment to senior government positions such as heads of ministries or divisions within ministries has been a recent development in Pacific public sectors. Yet, not much is known about the extent of women’s leadership there nor about its implications for the overall objective of gender equality as a development focus.
This is a chapter in the book edited by David Hegarty and Darrell Tryon (2013), ‘Politics, Development and Security in Oceania’, ANU Press.