Women in the Pacific region campaigning for political office will now be assisted with the publication of a "Guide to Campaigning for Pacific Women" which was officially launched in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea last week.When launching the publication, Hon. Dame Carol Kidu, PNG's Minister for Community Development said: "Too often we get lengthy publications and complex publications, when all we need are simple guides to give us some quick tips on what to look out for and what to expect when we do campaign in national elections."
She went on to say that the toolkit materials were about changing mindsets and therefore needed to be punchy and meaningful to the reader.
"What is special about the publication is that it is for Pacific women by Pacific women," Minister Kidu said.
In 2006, Pacific Women Ministers gathered in Rarotonga, Cook Islands to deliberate on a way forward and agreed the need to urgently address barriers to women's representation and participation in Pacific parliaments through a number of regional and national actions.
The development of toolkit materials to assist women standing in national elections was a regional level recommendation highlighted at the 2006 meeting. Another recommendation was the need for development partners to convene Sub-Regional Workshops on special measures, the first of which was held in Port Moresby on the 25 and 26 September.
To complement the Guide, two posters supporting women's participation in parliaments were also produced.
In addition a simple user friendly guide on the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) - for Parliamentarians was also developed. The pocket guide draws on key CEDAW publications already carried out by UNIFEM, the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the International Parliamentary Union (IPU).
The communication materials were developed in partnership with the UNDP Pacific Centre and with support from the Australia Government Office for Women.