I was honoured to be asked by Vital Voices to facilitate a workshop in Port Vila, Vanuatu from December 7-9th to initiate The Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Program. For this program, Vital Voices selected 48 women leaders in civil society, government agencies, and the private sector to form 12 country delegations that represented Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Cook Islands, and Niue. Each country delegation took on one of three issue-area projects aimed at increasing women’s economic opportunities and leadership in public life. The overall goal of the program was to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of women leaders in the Pacific Island region to advocate for women’s economic opportunities and greater leadership in civil society.

As well, I also did a specific session on “Assisting Women Entrepreneurs Access Global Markets”.

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My take away: It doesn’t matter what region in the world I work in, the problems women face are universal. I go back to the APEC conference’s “Declaration”, and have to ask why does change take so long?