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Bringing A Gender Lens To Pacific Investments

Systems and processes of finance don’t often work for women. And yet in the Pacific women make up almost half the population and are significant private sector players. Pacific Readiness
31 May 2017 15:18
Bringing A Gender Lens To Pacific Investments
Pacific Rise will be training 22 experts in gender lens investing in Suva this week.

Systems and processes of finance don’t often work for women. And yet in the Pacific women make up almost half the population and are significant private sector players.

Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise (Pacific RISE), an Australian Government-funded initiative, is addressing this through training 22 gender experts in gender lens investing in Suva this week. 

Through educating Pacific-based gender experts about systems and processes of finance it will support them to have more influence in the field of impact investing and allow them to shape how capital is used to support women and girls across the Pacific.

Participants from Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu will attend a three-day program commencing on 31 May, to understand how private finance and investment work, how finance can be used as a tool to create social change and the importance of creating networks between gender organisations and investors.

Leading the training will be Pacific RISE’s partner in gender lens investing, Joy Anderson from the Criterion Institute, an American-based company that have pioneered the concept of gender lens investing across the globe.  Along with Joy, Kate Wilson, Pacific RISE’s gender specialist who has a long history of working the Pacific will also be presenting. 

Pacific RISE will introduce the concept of gender lens investing to the participants using the Criterion Institute’s TOOLKIT approach.    This TOOLKIT has been developed primarily for the Pacific-based gender experts. For the three days, the attendees will learn about financial analysis and how to seek and improve investments and promote equitable social change.

While emerging in the Pacific, impact investing is growing rapidly across the globe.  Impact investments are those that look beyond the financial return – they aim to deliver measurable social and environmental impacts.

Impact investments often target women and girls, but rarely do they include a gender analysis in the financial analysis as few actors associated impact investments have an understanding of gender patterns and trends and the impact they have on the success of an investment. 

Similarly, many gender experts don’t have a solid financial understanding, which means that they are not active voices in investment negotiations.

Within the Pacific, as the impact investment market is growing, Pacific RISE, is becoming increasingly aware how gender and impact investments are intrinsically linked and so Pacific RISE is using a gender lens investing approach to apply a gender lens on investments so that positive financial and social returns are not missed opportunities.

Pacific RISE is an Australian Government funded initiative designed to create an impact investment market in the Pacific. 

It is establishing private sector partnerships made up of investors, intermediaries and Pacific-based businesses. These connections will link finance and ideas to achieve social and economic development outcomes, particularly for women and girls.

Pacific RISE will introduce $5 million of new private investment capital into the Pacific over the next three years.    

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