pacific forum History of Pacific Forum


Gender in Health and Climate Security Workshops Foster Global Collaboration for Disaster Preparedness

Bali, Indonesia May 2, 2024 Pacific Forum’s second Gender in Health and Climate Security
Workshop, sponsored by the U.S. IndoPacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Office of Women,
Peace & Security and held in partnership with the Coral Triangle Center from April 29 to May 2,
2024, successfully concluded, marking a significant step forward in addressing gender
disparities in disaster management.

In a groundbreaking event spanning four days in Bali, Indonesia, civil society practitioners and
defense and security stakeholders from Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, Papua
New Guinea, and Vanuatu gathered inperson and virtually to explore innovative approaches to
integrating gender perspectives into disaster preparedness and response efforts.

The workshop provided space for indepth discussions, interactive exhibits, and collaborative
sessions aimed at enhancing gender mainstreaming in health and climate security initiatives.
Participants engaged in comprehensive reviews of existing practices, sharing insights and
experiences to develop actionable strategies for building more inclusive and resilient responses
to climate and healthrelated disasters. Dr. Priyatma Singh commented: “This was my first
experience at a workshop, where I had an opportunity to interact with defense personnel. It
provided a great platform to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences.”

The design of this type of workshop allows for the inclusion of indiviuals and groups often
excluded from robust preperation for disaster mitigation and response. Through discussions,
detailed product development, and cultural understanding, a more nuicanced approach to
regonal crisis and disaster response evolved,” commented Dr. Delaina Sawyers of
USINDOPACOM. “The desire for these countries to improve the education and awareness of
the current challenges of their country’s climate security is a step in the right direction,”
explained Amalia Hilliard, the WPS Security Cooperation Administrator for USINDOPACOM.
“Our office of WPS looks forward to continuing our support of their efforts.”

Throughout the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to delve into topics such as customary
law, national and international legal frameworks, and best practices in civilmilitary cooperation.
AdiVasu Levu from Fiji stressed that “Women’s security perspectives must be incorporated into
decisionmaking.” Distinguished speakers and experts, including Priyatma Singh from the
University of Fiji and Shebana Alqaseer of Bayi Inc. in the Philippines, shared their perspectives
and insights, enriching the discussions with diverse viewpoints.

One of the highlights of the event was the collaborative breakout sessions in which civil society
representatives and defense and security personnel worked together to develop approaches to
responding to health and disaster crises that take women’s needs and security into
consideration. As Cathy Alex from Papua New Guinea shared of her own country’s experience,
“We were able to address a gender lens with our military forces by describing the relationship
between women caring for children and soldiers caring for the people of the country.”

The outcome will be a Gendered Risk Assessment Tool for Action Planning that can be used to
contextualize genderresponsive strategies in any community. Civil society groups and defense
personnel developed relationships that will benefit future collaboration in the wake of floods,
cyclones or typhoons, mudslides, droughts, and more.

The participants also contributed to the development of a Health Index for all seven partner
countries which will be published alongside the Gendered Risk Assessment Tool for Action

As the world continues to grapple with increasingly complex challenges the impact of climate
change on human and national security, events like these serve as vital platforms for fostering
innovation, collaboration, and positive change.

Moving forward, Pacific Forum remains committed to driving progress in genderresponsive
disaster management strategies, building on the momentum generated by the Gender in Health
and Climate Security workshops.


Key Findings HERE.


Media Contact:

Shanna Khayat

Communications & Outreach Manager

[email protected]

(808) 852-2595


About Pacific Forum: 

Pacific Forum is a non-profit think tank fostering dialogue, cooperation, and policy shaping in the Indo-Pacific region. For more information, visit


About USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security:

USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security (WPS) mainstreams gender perspectives into theater plans, programs, and policies in order to enable the USINDOPACOM enterprise to develop inclusive security strategies that advance a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. For more information, visit