People across the country celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday and embodied this year’s theme of pressing for progress to achieve gender equality.
In a speech during the International Women’s Day program at the National Museum Auditorium in Honiara, Minister of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Freda Tuki highlighted the ministry’s work to support women in the country.
“In our press for progress, the ministry has taken a multi-sectoral approach to implement the Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan launched in May last year,” Ms Tuki said.
The ministry is also offering technical support for the establishment of women’s empowerment and development policies in Malaita, Guadalcanal and Western provinces.
Ms Tuki said the ministry is pleased to see women in the three provinces taking bold steps to engage in dialogue with provincial and national leaders on issues affecting women.
In the Western provincial capital of Gizo, International Women’s Day was commemorated for the first time in ten years.
According to Lisi Binet, the provincial women’s desk officer, the last time they celebrated the event was in 2008.
Yesterday’s program in Gizo included a parade, awareness talks and cultural performances.
Another first in this year’s celebration was the participation of the Gizo Market Vendors Association. President Loretta Nasala said they awarded prizes for the best products at the market yesterday.
As keynote speaker during the celebration, Western Province Deputy Premier Malloney Lopoto said gender equality has become a challenge because little has been done to advance women’s issues.
The current government has pushed to increase the involvement of women in the provincial government.
“The next one is the initiative to recognise and to allow women to equally participate in the provincial level of decision making through the temporary special measures approach,” Mr Lopoto said. “The Western Provincial Government provincial executive have approved three women’s seats in your provincial assembly.”
The Western Provincial Government hopes to table the women’s policy in its first assembly meeting this year.
By SIBC staff