17 Feb 2011

Call for dialogue to empower Pacific women

4:40 pm on 17 February 2011

The United Nations Development Programme has reiterated the need for more dialogue in the Pacific about measures to empower women.

The comment has come from the Deputy representative of UNDP in Papua New Guinea, Carole Flore-Smereczniak, at the Resilience in the Pacific conference in Wellington.

Speaking on the Millenium Development Goals from a Pacific perspective, Ms Flore-Smereczniak said little progress has been made in the region towards greater political representation for women.

She said that Pacific communities still often see empowerment of women as a threat.

"I think the complexity in the Pacific is that you have a difficult coexistence between modern systems and traditional systems where we're trying to make it work. And it is not to say that the modern system is better and the traditional system is not. I think the way forward is really to look at the traditional system and pick out those elements that are good, and then look at the modern system, again take out what's good and make it work."

Carole Flore-Smereczniak