Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective
I am very happy to be here I must warn everyone that I am very new in the Pacific. So, I am very limited in my experience here and therefore I come to this meeting more as an observer and a listener. At the same time, experience from Asia could be useful in trying to understand what is actually happening here in the Pacific. I will use that experience to make some comments on women's projects.
The first question we can ask is why in the first place do we talk in terms of women's projects? What is the ideology behind having projects? When we talk about development we do not talk about men's projects, yet we talk about women's projects. This was acceptable for a certain time simply because a lot of women felt that they were left out the mainstream of development and that this “development”, as discussed earlier, by-passed women's interests. It was thought that by having women's projects, women could win some space in the development process. The last 10 years shown that there are many weaknesses in approaching development in this way: that is, in the use of women's projects or having a women's component in projects.