Focused on gender equality, analysis and mainstreaming, the training provided an opportunity for 12 females and 18 males Solomon Islands Government staff from the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Public Service (MPS) and Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) to learn more about gender mainstreaming and strengthen their capacities on how to apply a gender perspective when working on policy, planning, programming and budgeting processes within their sectors.
In a joint statement issued by FAO-EU /FIRST, SPC, MPS, MWYCFA and MAL, it said gender mainstreaming was a priority of the Solomon Islands Government, especially in the areas of agriculture and food systems where women perform many important but sometimes not-so-visible functions on production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, as well as other connected roles such as the management of natural resources or those related to food and nutrition security.
Acknowledging the complexity of the food system and the need to address its different elements from a multi-sectoral perspective, the training followed a collaborative approach that explored synergies and shared understanding of the different issues among participants to generate coordinated solutions.
The workshop was conducted in partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and European Union’s (EU) ‘Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme’, the Pacific Community (SPC) together with the Institute of Public Administration Management (IPAM) of the Ministry of Public Service and MWYCFA.
It was designed with a practical approach that will allow the participants to identify new ways of performing their current duties in a way that acknowledges some challenges that women face in agriculture and the food system, and addresses current gender gaps through women empowerment and the provision of equitable opportunities for all.
The gender training modules used in this training were developed by SPC, for IPAM as the training arm of government, and complemented by specific chapters on agriculture and the rural sector designed by FAO-EU/ FIRST. To provide the participants with appropriate and relevant examples, the training modules built on the findings and recommendations of the FAO/SPC ‘*Country Gender Assessment of Agriculture and the Rural Sector in Solomon Islands*’ published in 2019.
“Because we have issues of growing inequalities and high incidence of violence against Women and Girls in Solomon Islands, the government is very supportive of such a gender training workshop as this one,” said Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Cedric Alepedava. “Gender equality is not a women’s issue only but should also concern and fully engaged men, women boys and girls”.