More Actions Required to Promote Equitable Opportunities for Women in Solomon Islands

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Government of the Solomon Islands has demonstrated its commitment to promoting equitable opportunities for women in public service and education as well as eliminating violence against women, but more needs to be done to translate commitments into actions. 

Those are the key findings of the Solomon Islands first ever Country Gender Assessment endorsed at a one-day workshop today, organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Government of Solomon Islands, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Government officials, development partners, and civil society groups, among others, participated in the meeting.

 “The goal of the country gender assessment is to better focus our development policies and priorities in improving the quality of women’s lives in Solomon Islands by ensuring women have equal access and opportunities across all areas of development,” said Ethel Sigimanu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.

“Today’s meeting will establish a platform for the sharing of information and knowledge of the Solomon Islands Country Gender Assessment,” added ADB’s Sunhwa Lee, ADB Principal Social Development Specialist.

The assessment--a collaborative effort of ADB, SPC and the Government--aims to inform policymakers, civil society, and development partners about gender-related barriers to inclusive development across various sectors, and recommends ways to incorporate gender concerns into government policies and programs. 

While there is good news in the key findings of the assessment, more efforts are needed to: improve women’s health, give women equitable access to education, promote women’s equal participation in the economy and government decision-making, and prevent violence against women.

The information from the assessment will be used to train government gender focal points. The training by SPC will take place this week.