This activity is in line with the Solomon Islands national gender equality and women’s development policy and is a requirement under the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) funded “Improving fisheries food security and sustainable livelihoods for Pacific Island communities project”. This activity is a collaboration between the Fisheries Aquaculture Marine and Ecosystems Programme (FAME) and the Social Development Division (SDP) of SPC, and MFMR, Solomon Islands.
The overall aim of this study is to support the mainstreaming of gender across key policies and legislation under the mandate of the Ministry, from a gender perspective. The outcomes of this initiative will be used to support the implementation of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) programme “Improving fisheries food security and sustainable livelihoods for the Pacific Islands communities”.
Women play a vital role in the fishery sector. They are involved in various aspects of coastal fisheries and increasingly engaged as middle sellers, buyers and in the development of value added products. In the Solomon Islands, they dominate the unskilled and semi-skilled labour force in tuna processing industry but earn a much lower wage compared to their male counterparts working in similar jobs. However, women's contribution to the fishery sector is often overlooked or minimized. Therefore are often left out of technical and capacity building initiatives and in community consultations. There is an increasing number of women involving in fisheries sciences and management across the Pacific, and it is worth exploring the factors enabling women to invest in this field where they can get better earning and contribute in the decision -making that shape the fisheries sector. But women will continue to be marginalized in the fishery sector as officials or fishers and farmers if government policies and strategies are not gender sensitive.
The scope is to conduct a gender comprehensive study on gender perspective of fisheries in the Solomon Island. This will include: I. A gender analysis of the fishery sector (coastal and aquaculture) in the Solomon Islands. II. An institutional analysis of the capacity of the ministry of the Fisheries and Marine Resources and other central and subnational institutions to mainstream gender perspective. III. A gender analysis of the current policies and legislation under the mandate of the Ministry of fisheries and Marine Resources. IV. A gender mainstreaming strategy for the fishery sector.
Political will must be demonstrated in concrete gender strategies in fishery policies with adequate resources to support the advancement of women. Gender mainstreaming as "people-centered approach" looks at how policies and services have a greater impact on the women and men working in the sector. Hence, this approach is not beneficial to women only; it contributes to the whole sector by improving how the decisions are made and services are delivered so that more people involved in fisheries benefit directly.