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Gender Database for Agriculture and Resource Management Policies in Pacific Island Countries

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H. Booth
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In order to be effective, Women in Development initiatives need to be based on reliable data and area- specific information on gender roles in agricultural production and other contexts. This report calls for better gender-disaggregated information on the Pacific Region, with an emphasis on Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa. For example, agricultural production is being increasingly privatised and export-driven under the World Trade Organization General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The report predicts that women will be significantly affected by these changes, as they traditionally play an important role in local food production. The report argues that, in order to effectively address and strengthen Pacific Region women's role in agriculture and natural resource management, greater availability of information is required. It presents an overview of policies in the three countries, related to agriculture, fisheries, forestry, natural resource management and rural enterprise development, and examines the current status of gender integration in these policies. It also outlines strategies for capacity building in the identification, collection and tabulation of sex-disaggregated data. These include: increasing gender awareness among both users and producers of databases, capacity building in gender-disaggregated database development, increasing skills in farming systems database development, and enhancing skills in computer-based data compilation.