Despite considerable donor support in recent years, development outcomes for most women in the Pacific continue to be poor, with high levels of economic disadvantage compared with men. Women’s economic empowerment greatly improves the health, well-being and productivity not only of themselves but of their families and their entire nations which benefit even further through the more effective and sustainable development achieved. Recognising these substantial benefits, development organisations of all kinds are focussing on addressing women’s economic disadvantage. The document An Effective Aid Program for Australia currently guides delivery of Australian aid. It states a key objective to be, ‘empowering women to participate in the economy … because of the critical untapped role of women in development’ (Commonwealth of Australia 2011: 30). Given the policy priority attached to sustainable economic development in the region, to understand what factors enhance women’s economic inclusion and empowerment and what factors obstruct this, is fundamental. This session will present research examining how women’s economic empowerment in the region is evolving.