22 Oct 2013

Call for widespead temporary special measures for women

3:18 pm on 22 October 2013

A Pacific human rights lawyer says temporary special measures for Pacific women should be applied across a whole range of sectors, not just seats in parliament.

Imrana Jalal made the call in her speech opening a major Pacific women's gathering in the Cook Islands, the 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women

Ms Jalal says the mechanism used in some countries mainly to improve women's political representation should be applied in all areas where women are not as well represented as men.

"So if we don't have women engineers we should have time bound targets that say their scholarships will be allocated to women who are interested in obtaining them. There should be temporary special measures in access to credit and finance, there should be temporary special measures to scholarships and training."

Imrana Jalal says battles for gender equality are being won in the Pacific but there needs to be much more proactive work undertaken with targets and time limits set.