Australia Confident $330 Million Aid For Pacific Women

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10-year initiative hoped to empower women in politics, economics

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 20, 2012) – The Australian government says it is confident that aid directed at women in the region will be coordinated to have the best possible impact.

Earlier this year, Australia announced a US$330 million dollar initiative to help women in the Pacific.

The money will be spent over ten years, supporting gender equality in parliaments, economic empowerment and to improve safety for women.

Australia’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, Richard Marles, says the program’s being well-delivered is very important, and he is confident AusAid can do that.

"You are unlikely to be able to succeed in the development of a country, unless you empower every citizen within it. Show me a country where women are empowered, and I will show you a country that is developing fast. And that is really the lesson that we need to take from this, because one of the difficult truths that we’re going to have to face is that the Pacific is not tracking as we would like in relation to the Millennium Development Goals, and this is part of it."

Richard Marles says Australia won’t be prescriptive about the aid, but wants to support women throughout the region.

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