Gender equality will be the focus of a visit to the Pacific this week by a bipartisan delegation led by the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles.Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julie Bishop, Coalition MP Teresa Gambaro and Government MP Bernie Ripoll will accompany Mr Marles and Australia's Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams. The delegation will visit Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu and Samoa.
As well as meeting heads of government and other ministers, the delegation will hold talks with women parliamentarians, women's groups and visit Australian-funded programs to promote women and girls' empowerment.
"Gender equality and violence against women and girls are serious problems facing all Pacific countries. That is why Australia is providing $25 million over four years to Pacific islands to ensure better services to survivors of violence and to enable communities to prevent violence from happening in the first place," said Mr Marles.
The delegation will also discuss other issues that are important to Pacific Island countries, including fisheries and climate change and, in Solomon Islands, will visit the headquarters of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.