SUSTAINABLE development will only be possible when women can participate safely, as equals, in political, economic and social opportunities to increase family incomes, build assets, and reduce poverty.
This is the view of Penny Williams, Australia's Global ambassador for Women and Girls.
She said it was important that all countries supported women to fully participate in their own future, as well as the future of the region.
This week Ms William is visiting organisations like the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development, United Nations Women's Pacific office and the Ramakrishna Mission Fiji.
"My visit comes at a very exciting time for women's development in the Pacific," she said.
"Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard recently announced, an $A320 million ($F590.1million) initiative called the 'Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development'.
"The initiative which will be delivered across the Pacific region over 10 years will help improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women."
Yesterday Ms William officially opened the FWCC organised Pacific Network against Violence and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization Women in Business Conference in Nadi.