BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
ACTING Australian High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincent says Australia in partnership with Solomon Islands Government, continues to commit advancing gender equality and supporting women’s empowerment and leadership, agency and representation through strong support to the justice agencies, to the rule of law, together with UNDP.
She said over the years, the Solomon Islands Government (SIG), through Ministry of Public Service, has noted the decrease in number of women and the delayed prolonged career progression for women across the wider SIG public sector workforce. This is an area that requires sustained effort to not lose the gains made.
“We can look to the statistics of female representation, in managerial and leadership positions across the Ministries of Justice and Police, National security and Corrections, as well as portfolio agencies.
“As stakeholders we know that there are strong, capable, and reliable women in the justice sector who have the potential to advance through roles in their agencies. I am hopeful these two days will create the space, produce conversations and dialogue to work toward better outcomes for women in the justice sector and the wider public sector in Solomon Islands,” Ms Vincent said.
She said Australia supported the UNDP Access to Justice Programme by being engaged in this forum, and also our wider Justice programme, and in their Justice programme, one of the key programme outcomes is that good practise in leadership, decision making, community engagement and public sector management is increasingly demonstrated across the sector.
“We know that all societies benefit when women are part of the decision making, especially in pursuing peace and security. Their ideas and contributions are vital.
“Australia, through the Pacific Step-Up, made commitments through Pacific Women Lead. Our Partnerships for Recovery – Australia’s COVID-19 Development response – provides support for women and girls, and the justice agencies to continue deliver and maintain stability to the people of Solomon Islands.
“These commitments recognise Pacific women for their significant contributions to their societies and economies and supports the growing acknowledgment among governments and the private sector that investing in women and girls has a powerful effect on economic growth and wellbeing,” Ms Vincent said.
United Nation Development Programme Country Manager for Solomon Islands Berdi Berdiyev also said that UNDP is looking forward to continue engage with all justice stakeholders through UNDP Access to Justice Project generously funded by the Australian Government.