• Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Areas of interest Pacific Studies, Asia Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

This course will consider the challenges and opportunities to extend conceptualisations of ‘legitimate leadership’ in the Pacific. Across most sectors, women are significantly under-represented in positions of formal leadership in the Pacific, including in politics, the public service, and business. Research points to a range of socio-economic and structural barriers to women’s leadership, including limited access to financial resources and education, and pervasive underlying social norms that place value in men and masculine forms of leadership. The course will examine a range of policy and programmatic interventions that have been designed over the last decade to improve women’s leadership in the Pacific.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of existing challenges to women’s leadership in the Pacific
  2. Identify and critically analyse different approaches and pathways to leadership
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with the academic and policy debates around gender equality and leadership in the Pacific context and more broadly
  4. Critically analyse strategies that aim to support women’s increased, legitimate leadership

Indicative Assessment

  1. Policy Brief (1,200 words) (40) [LO 1,3,4]
  2. Leadership Pitch (10 minutes) (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Response to Policy Interventions (1,200 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Participation in class discussion (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Approx. 60 hours total, including 8 x 90 minute workshops. Individual study approx. 40-45 hours.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

None required

Preliminary Reading

·        Baker, K. 2018. Great Expectations: Gender and Political Representation in the Pacific Islands. Government and Opposition. 53(3) 542-568.

·        Baker, K. and Palmieri, S. 2020. Widows and Wives in Pacific politics: A Reliable Pathway for Women? DPA In Brief. 2020/1

·        Barbara, J. and Baker, K. 2016. Improving the Electoral Chances of Pacific Women through an Evidence-Based Approach. CDI/SSGM Report.

·        Garap, S. 2019. Understanding Gender Relations in PNG after Decades of Activism – A Personal Perspective, Part 1. DPA In Brief. 2019/X

·        Garap, S. 2019. Understanding Gender Relations in PNG after Decades of Activism – A Personal Perspective, Part 2. DPA In Brief. 2019/23

·        Howard, E. 2019. Effective Support for Women’s Leadership in the Pacific: Lessons from the Evidence. DPA Discussion Paper. 2019/1

·        Howard, E., Apinelu, E. Neemia, T., and Towaki-Bue, J. 2019. Women’s leadership: Bringing context to life. Development Bulletin 81. 28-32.

·        IWDA. 2019. Public Perceptions of Women as Political Leaders: Views on Women’s Leadership and Temporary Special Measures in Solomon Islands.

·        McLeod, A. 2015. Women’s leadership in the Pacific. DLP State of the Art Paper 4.

·        Spark, C. & Corbett, J. 2018. Emerging women leaders’ views on political participation in Melanesia, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20:2, 221-235, DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2016.1189680

·        Tuuau, A. with Howard, E. 2019. The Long Road to Becoming a Parliamentarian in Samoa: Political Apprenticeship, Learning New Language and Pushing Gender Boundaries. DPA Discussion Paper 2019/4.

·        Zubrinich, K and Haley N. (2009). Experiencing the Public Sector: Pacific Women’s Perspectives. Canberra: State Society and Governance in Melanesia Program.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3090
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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