Australia has announced a 330 million US dollar initiative to help women in the Pacific.
The money will be spent over ten years on supporting gender equality in parliaments, economic opportunities, and to improve safety for women.
Megan Whelan reports from Rarotonga, where the announcement was made.
"The Pacific region has among the lowest rates of parliamentary representation of women in the world, and some of the highest rates of violence against women and children. Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says gender equality isn't just about fairness to women, but also about economic development and empowerment. She says significant challenges remain in the region, but change is possible. She says she is delighted that the leaders at the Pacific Island Forum meeting being held this week are working towards gender equality."