Gender equality will bring massive return to Pacific - UN

The United Nations says Pacific nations are missing out on economic benefits by not fostering gender equality.

Today is International Women's Day and the UN says women in the region still experience limited job opportunities, under-representation in management positions, and workplace harassment.

Deputy Representative at the Pacific office for UN Women Nicolas Burniat said women also faced more limited employment opportunities, despite making up a significant portion of the informal economy.

Mr Burniat said the under-utilisation of half the population meant the potential of the Pacific's economies was also being under-utilised.

"The most serious economic organisations, whether it is the OECD or the World Bank, have studied and demonstrated that economically empowering women basically creates a massive return in GDP for the whole country.

"So not only is economically empowering women the right thing to do from a rights perspective, it's also the smart thing to do from a rights perspective."


Photo: RNZ / Daniela Maoate-Cox