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Women in development activities in the Pacific Region should be built on solid foundations of good data and area specific information on gender roles in local production. Policies and programmes in such sectors as agriculture, ecological resource management and rural production should reflect the realities of country specific gender roles in these sectors. Though in recent years the development agenda has addressed gender concerns, we still have not achieved the goals set by various UN conferences on women since 1985. In Pacific Island countries, a major barrier to full integration is a lack of current information on the status of women in agriculture, natural resource management and rural enterprises. FAO, as the lead technical organization in the UN system, has a special interest in developing appropriate databases on women's participation in agriculture and associated sectors that determine household food security. In reflection of such commitment, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has produced this document on "Gender Database Development for Agriculture and Resource Management Policies in Pacific Island Countries."

The document presents an overview of the policies related to agriculture, fisheries, forestry, natural resource management and rural enterprise development, and examines the current status of gender integration in these policies. The focus of the analysis is on the current integration and potential for these policies with gender considerations to achieve sustained household food security in the selected Pacific Island countries. Drawing from such a review, the document provides detailed guidelines on data requirements relating to gender dimensions in agriculture, natural resource management and rural development in Pacific Island countries. We hope this document will be of value to the Ministries and other interested groups who aim to improve the integration of women in development and country specific gender-disaggregated databases among Pacific Region countries.

Prem Nath
Assistant Director General
and Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand
January 1999

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