The Australian High Commission Office and Live and Learn Solomon Islands have today jointly launched the “Red Cardim Vaelens”, a new initiative to tackle gender-based violence through sports in Solomon Islands.
Speaking at the launch, Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne acknowledged that violence against women and girls is a serious social problem in Solomon Islands.
Commissioner Byrne says the “Red Cardim Vaelens” initiative now carries the hope to effectively address the gender-based issue in the country which has hindered development of Solomon Islands for years.
“Violence against women and girls is a serious problem, it’s a global problem. It’s not a problem that’s unique to Solomon Islands, but it is a very serious problem here in Solomon Islands and of course it’s a difficult problem to solve. If it was easy to solve, the problem of violence against women and girls, we would have done done that long ago. So we need to try new things, new ways of combating this which is holding back the development of Solomon Islands and so many other countries.
Meanwhile, the Australian High Commissioner says the Australian High Commission Office and Live and Learn Solomon Islands believes through this sporting initiative, men and boys can help address the issue of gender-based violence in the country.
“Engaging with some of the leading sporting teams in Solomon Islands, using the fact that men and boys often look to their sporting heroes as role models. They look to men like you my friends they look to you to understand how men should behave, how they should behave towards women and girls and to see what’s expected of a man.”
Meanwhile, Director of Live and Learn Solomon Islands Elmah Sese urges all citizens to work closely with the participating sporting clubs to collectively address violence against women and girls in the country.
Mrs. Sese explains this is crucial to create a Solomon Islands that is free of any gender-based violence.
“And we must work together with our sports clubs to ensure there is a collective approach end violence against women and make Solomon Islands a place we can truly call home.”
SIBC News understands, various soccer and rugby clubs participated in the historic event in Honiara today.