Australia has identified gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as a priority of its aid program in the Solomon Islands.
First Secretary for Gender from the Australian High Commission Sarah Kernot made the statement during yesterday’s announcement of Australia’s ‘Safe Families’ program.
This initiative is part of Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development – a commitment from the Australian government to spend AUD$30 million on gender equality in the Pacific.
Ms. Kernot, who is also responsible for overseeing the development of the program, says the Safe Families program builds on the efforts of Solomon Islanders to educate people about the effects of violence on families.
She says the program also builds on the need to deal with ingrained social behaviours which see family violence as acceptable.
She said it was developed through extensive consultation with women, government, churches and civil society in Solomon Islands and directly aligns with the Solomon Islands government’s policy on eliminating violence against women.