BY PRIESTLEY HABRU
BANK South Pacific (BSP) Solomon Islands has drafted its own Domestic Violence (DV) Policy thanks to its partnership with ‘Waka Mere Project’.
This was revealed by BSP Solomon Islands E-Channel Manager Lyn Fa’arodo at the 10th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane.
“As a result of the Waka Mere Project a Domestic Violence Policy has been drafted for BSP Solomon Islands and this may not have been the case if this project was not established by IFC (International Finance Corporation).”
Waka Mere Commitment to Action is an initiative of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry. IFC’s work in Solomon Islands is under the Pacific Partnership, supported by the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
BSP Solomon Islands is one of the companies in Solomon Islands that has signed up for this initiative.
Ms Fa’arodo said BSP Solomon Islands signed up because it wanted to create safe and respectful workplaces for its staff.
“This is something BSP see as benefiting its employees in terms of better understanding of what is domestic violence, how to openly address the issues and concerns employees may face and what benefits are there to assist when staff are faced or been through domestic violence at home or at work,” she added.
Ms Fa’arodo said BSP Solomon Islands has identified five females and two males to undertake training on how domestic violence can impact the workplace and how it should be handled in workplace.
The seven staff, she said, also engaged in raising awareness on DV issues with its branch staff around Solomon Islands.
“Staff were assured of their privacy on any issue that were raised,” Ms Fa’arodo said.
As a result of this initiative, she said that BSP Solomon Islands staff has a better understanding of DV and that victims can be both men and women.
She reiterated that a number of her colleagues have come forward to discuss DV issues they experienced and were referred to counselling services.
“One or two managers have given feedback that their staff performance has improved following visit made to counselling services,” Ms Fa’arodo lamented.
The Waka Mere Commitment to Action is a two year initiative which aims to promote gender equality in the private sector in Solomon Islands.
It was launched in July 2017 at the Australian Solomon Islands Business Forum in Honiara and includes 15 of the largest companies in the country with nearly 6,000 employees.
It was designed to address three key areas namely leadership, respectful workplace and women on non-traditional roles.