Barter system still alive in Malaita

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

BARTER system is still practised in Malaita province, it is reported.

Recently, Strongim Binis and Oxfam International Solomon Islands compiled a report on Community Perceptions of Gender Norms and Economic Opportunity in Solomon Islands and found that the barter system is still practised in Malaita province.

In the past, barter system was a strong kastom practice prior to the introduction of the cash economy.

With such type of exchange system commonly known as Barter system, the report said it is still used today in some interior and coastal areas of Malaita.

Men and women across Malaita province still apply the system on daily activities for exchange in goods and today they really value as its economic model, the report said.

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“Women, men, young women and young men in all participating communities’ value barter as an economic model to increase inter-community cooperation and networking and enable disadvantaged community members to access the goods they require through exchange, rather than cash,” the report said.

Meanwhile, study carried out in the three provinces identifies and deconstructs key social norms affecting women’s engagement with economic activity in Solomon Islands.

Such include cocoa, coconut and tourism value chains.

The study also considers likelihood of and pathways available to shift restrictive social norms, including those related to the burden of unpaid care work.

This is particularly for women and young women can be supported to engage with economic activity if they desire.

Men and young men can increase their contribution to the wellbeing of families and communities.

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