In an interactive session of the CRGA49, the Pacific Community's Social Development Programme (SDP) shared with members the concepts and principles of equality and equity, and how these apply in the work SDP does across different countries in the region.
“Without equity it would be very hard for us to achieve equality, it would be very hard to achieve equal development outcomes and as a result it would be hard for us to achieve sustainable development. Recognising that achieving gender equality is one of the key prerequisites to achieving sustainable development in the Pacific”
Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara
Director, Social Development Programme, Pacific Community (SPC)
While government agencies have progressed elements of the policy, they have recognised the need to bridge the gap in gender data. Agencies chose to do this by compiling and producing a gender statistics publication titled, Gender equality: Where do we stand? SPC has supported the development of the publication in five PICs as a way of consolidating and improving access to gender statistics and, in the process, building capacity in the collection, analysis and utilisation of gender statistics. The initiative is part of SPC’s ‘Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific’ project, which addresses capacity limitations in gender mainstreaming and statistics in 14 member countries.
Most of the key stakeholders were aware of the importance of gender data, but lacked knowledge in gender analysis. SPC used the publication as the method for building analytical capacity. In addition, SPC’s Gender Statistics Advisor supported each key sector, including the Ministry of Health and Human Services, and the Public School System (education sector), to strengthen the quality of disaggregated statistics and analysis in their own annual reporting.
The process of bringing together gender focal points from each ministry with other key stakeholders and statisticians provoked a change in perception, especially in how data is viewed. For example, participants looked at how statistics quantified women’s and men’s contribution to the economy, in decision-making spaces and also in their families. They realised how the use of gender statistics and analysis can inform policy decisions and reduce gender inequality.