In 1928, in Honolulu, a group of women with international concerns, hoping to promote peace through understanding and friendship, convened to establish the Pan Pacific Woman''s Association. Later, the name was changed to more accurately reflect the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women''s Association''s area of interest.
At the first International Conference, the primary activity was the exchange of national experience with the problems of women and children in and around the Pacific. Since 1930, international Conferences have been held approximately every three years, bringing women together for meetings, lectures, workshops, and cultural programmes concerned with women and families. Recent Conferences have been in the U.S.A. in 1981, Japan in 1984, and Australia in 1988. The XVII International Conference was held in Thailand in 1990 and was attended by 350 delegates from 22 countries in the Asia/Pacific region. By gracious invitation of Her Majesty Queen Mata''aho of Tonga, PPSEAWA held the XIX International Conference in August 1994 in Kuku'' Alofa, Tonga. The theme was: Women of Wisdom Are Pillars of Nations. There were 350 delegates from 21 countries of Asia and the Pacific. The XX conference was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 25-September 2, 1997.
PPSEAWA''s objectives are "to strengthen the bonds of peace by fostering a friendship and better understanding among women in all areas of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, to promote cooperation among women of these regions for the study and improvement of social, economic, and cultural conditions."
PPSEAWA is the only international women''s organization devoted to peace and understanding in the Pacific and South East Asia.
PPSEAWA is financed by contributions from individuals, organizations, and PPSEAWA member organizations.
PPSEAWA members are kept informed through an International Bulletin, published twice yearly, and through the Newsletters of member organizations.
PPSEAWA has consultative status in category II to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), with the privilege and responsibility of making its voice hears in International decision-making. The Association is represented at the United Nations in New York, and Geneva, and at ESCAP, UNICEF, and UNESCO. Continued monitoring of and participation in these United Nations bodies enable PPSEAWEA to inform its members and help them identify areas where they can be of assistance and mobilise local help.
PPSEAWA comprises nineteen autonomous national member organizations, many having several local chapters. Any group of women in countries within the Pacific and South East Asia areas which is committed to the purposes of the Association may apply directly to the International Council for membership. Members in member organizations may be individuals or representatives of women''s organizations with common objectives.