Celebrating the strength and resilience of women in the Tina catchment on International Day of Rural Women
On October 15, International Day of Rural Women is being recognised around the world bringing attention to the unique challenges faced by women in rural communities. Issues such as limited access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities are widespread and are often compounded by environmental and cultural factors that can prevent rural women from fully participating in social, political, and economic systems.
For women living in the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) catchment, they also face challenges which can hinder their ability to pursue viable livelihood options. Some of these include a lack of skills and training opportunities, access to limited infrastructure and basic services such as transportation, electricity and water. Despite this, these women continue to demonstrate remarkable strength and resilience in their daily lives. They play vital roles in their communities, serving as caretakers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. As the pendulum starts to swing through hard work and determination, these rural women are willingly taking part in opportunities provided by the Project to help build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.
For the past 3 years, the renewable energy project has been committed to promoting gender equity and empowering women living in the Tina catchment through its Gender Action Plan (GAP). Its ongoing implementation has not only provided unprecedented opportunities for these women but helped to raise awareness about gender equality and challenging social norms through community engagement.
Even though the problems are deep rooted and difficult to diffuse, many GAP initiatives have already successfully taken place and more are being planned for 2024. Past programs such as targeted training and capacity-building to enhance women’s skills and knowledge in various sectors such as small business entrepreneurship, financial management and life-skills training have been attended by over 100 rural women in the past 3 years. Women groups have been established and meet regularly with the support of a Gender Liaison Officer from the Project Office team to help facilitate promoting women’s participation and representation in local decision-making processes; empowering them to have a voice in their communities. All of these activities by GAP have and will continue to provide a platform for rural women to become a part of the solution, building strength and resilience and inspiring future generations.
The Tina River Hydropower Development Project is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) with financing and support from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Australia, the Green Climate Fund, Korea EX-IM Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and the World Bank. The GAP initiative is a positive example of a SIG investment that is responding to local women’s needs and helps stimulate rural economic development.