Gender Research in the Pacific 1994-2014: Beginnings

Author/s: Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem, et al

This scoping study by Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem with Dr Asenati Chan Tung, Dr Evelyn Marsters & Dr Sarah Eftonga Pene, examines gender-responsive and evidence-based research conducted in Pacific Island countries since 1994. Specifically, it deals with research on eight critical areas of concern covered in the Revised Pacific Platform for Action 2005-2015 (RPPA). The areas are: education, health, climate change and environment, economic empowerment, gender mainstreaming, leadership and decision-making, violence against women (VAW), and human rights.

While gender research on each issue exists in one way or another in the Pacific, there are many unknowns as to the scope, nature, and quality of this research. This study was initiated by a group of gender specialists based in Suva who were concerned about the need to strengthen gender-responsive policy development in the Pacific and to continue to build research capacity in the region. Despite the existence of robust research in the critical areas of concern and government commitments to address these concerns, gender inequalities persist. Further, rapid social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental changes mean that on-going research in all areas, as well as in emerging areas of concern, is essential.

The study objective is threefold: (i) to map and provide a gap analysis of existing gender research in eight thematic areas; (ii) to assess its quality, reliability and usefulness and, (iii) to provide recommendations relating to capacity building on gender research in the Pacific. The study methodology involved the use of three complementary methods: Internet search and review of literature, an online survey, and in-depth interviews. All members of the consultancy team were Pacific women scholars (two were resident in a Pacific country). The senior team members have been active as researchers, teachers, and consultants for a combined period of over two decades.

This project created a bibliography of over 400 citations, an annotated bibliography of 135 pieces of research and a literature review of eight areas of concern. A review of the research, together with information gathered through the survey and interviews, formed the basis for the assessment of research gaps, quality, reliability, and usefulness.

Read the scoping study in fullGender Research in the Pacific 1994-2014 – Beginnings.
Workshop ReportPacific Gender Research Workshop Report
Feature Story: Pacific Stakeholders Advance Gender Research in the Region
DropBoxResearch files from the scoping study including presentations from the Pacific Gender Research Workshop

  • Other Authors: Dr Asenati Chan Tung, Dr Evelyn Marsters, Dr Sarah Eftonga Pene
  • Organisation commissioning the research: Pacific Women
  • Date Published: June 30, 2016
  • Language published in: English
  • Search keywords: Education, Health, Climate Change and Environment, Economic Empowerment, Gender Mainstreaming, Leadership and Decision-Making, Violence Against Women, VAW, EVAW, Human Rights, Scoping Study, Bibliography, Gender Research, Research, Pacific

Economic Empowerment, Ending Violence against Women, Enhancing Agency, Gender, Leadership and Decision Making, Pacific, Research