MFEM Gender Policy

MFEM Gender Policy

The Cook Islands National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and Strategic Plan of Action, recognises that women and men are equal partners to the development of the Cook Islands, and places gender equality at the heart of economic and social progress, giving equal value to the roles and responsibilities of Cook Islands women and men. It also recognises that in order to redress gender it is necessary to create the conditions for women’s empowerment while women and men work together to address attitudinal and institutional barriers to gender equality.
The operating principles underpinning the National Policy are that:
 Women and men are equal partners in the development of the Cook Islands and gender equality is at the heart of economic and social progress, and equal value needs to be given to the roles and responsibilities of the country’s women and men.
 Women’s empowerment will help achieve the national objective of ensuring the benefits of development are shared equally throughout the islands and the population, in order to ensure real improvement in their standard of living.
 The realisation of women’s human rights is the basic guiding principle for the National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
 Gender equality is a right and customary practices are subject to the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution of the country.
 The principle of equality is guiding the adoption of affirmative actions for compensating for historical and social disadvantages women undergone which have deprive them of equal opportunities.
 Identified priority outcomes are linked to the national priorities in the revised National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP).
 While Government policy priorities may change, the priority outcomes identified in this Policy will remain valid.
 Women economic empowerment is critical for achieving the social and economic development goal of the country.
 Policy makers and managers need to develop their capacity to mainstream gender and address women human rights issues into their field of intervention and sector.
 Strong partnerships and coordination mechanisms need to be in place between the national women machinery – the Gender and Development Division (DAD) housed under the Ministry of Internal Affairs – and other line and sectoral ministries and with outer islands governance mechanisms.

The aim of the National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment is to guide the Cook Islands Government in implementing and monitoring its commitments to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Policy is also a tool for dialogue with and between different sectors and agencies to achieve the following objectives:
1. Define agreed priorities for empowering women and achieving gender equality;
2. Create an enabling environment for translating Government commitment to gender equality into reality;
3. Align national plans and implement Government’s international and regional commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment; and
4. Define a mechanism for monitoring and reporting on the progress in line with the Cook Islands commitment to regional and international state obligations.

 

Please refer to the full Gender Policy Document here