Suva, Fiji – The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in the Pacific is pleased to announce the launching of its third literature review and annotated bibliography, Rural Pacific Island Women and Agriculture: Evidence, Data and Knowledge in Pacific Island Countries.
The launching of this publication is very timely because the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”.
The literature review and annotated bibliography contains research stemming from many academic disciplines and development project reports. It is a first step in uniting these diverse sources to reveal a number of commonalities shared by women who engage in agriculture in the Pacific.
Women’s agricultural production is a fundamental and indispensable part of food production and consumption practices across the region. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women frequently work longer hours than men in gathering and producing food for family consumption.
The literature on rural Pacific Island women indicates that while women’s critical contributions in planting, tending, and harvesting crops and edible marine life sustain the majority of families throughout the region, the work, productivity and potential remains the invisible, undervalued, under-resourced and under-developed area of rural economic development.
The key role and responsibilities of women, their priorities, needs and concerns that should be heard and reflected in planning, budgeting and decision-making in this sector, which is the lifeline of most people.
Now, more than ever, policymakers need to work closely with women agricultural producers in order to ensure resilient communities able to withstand and recover from many shocks and a sustainable future for Pacific Island agriculture and the livelihood of the majority of Pacific Island citizens.
This summary of scholarly and development related literature has been compiled with the intention of providing practitioners and policymakers with a concise yet holistic overview of current knowledge and frameworks for understanding markets and market vendors, and women and agriculture in the region.