PACIFIC women make up an insignificant percentage of parliamentarians or active politicians, according to Dr Pramila Devi.
And she says the percentage is one of the lowest in the world.
Dr Devi, the director of the USP's Lautoka campus, said: "Gender disparity exists in the Pacific.
"However, its extent differs in different countries and in different contexts.
"Disparity is rooted in the socio-economic and political structure of Pacific societies.
"As such, there are numerous barriers barring women's equality."
Dr Devi said that in the field of education, the majority of Pacific countries have actually narrowed the inequality gap with women now even aiming for tertiary and higher education, although the same could not be said for employment where inequality remains.