The UN Development Programme, SolRice, and the Government of Australia have joined forces to acknowledge womenâs leadership and their role in achieving social change through the dissemination of 85 000 copies of the Outstanding Women (OW) of Solomon Islands booklet.
SolRice is one of the countryâs largest rice distributors.
The âOutstanding Womenâ initiative was launched in 2019 as part of UNDPâs Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP) to advance womenâs leadership and promote gender equality in Solomon Islands.
Communities throughout Solomon Islands were invited to nominate and conduct elections to choose women valued for their contributions and achievements.
The names of 120 women nominated may be found in this booklet which features the stories of 11 women who received the highest number of votes in nine provinces, including the capital Honiara.
During a press briefing on the launch of the Outstanding Women booklet and the SolRice distribution partnership, the Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, highlighted the significance of working together with the private sector in promoting womenâs roles as leaders in Solomon Islands.
âGender equality and womenâs empowerment is not an option,â said Dr Strahan. âAll the data from across the globe indicates that any society that does not empower women, economically, socially and politically, struggles.â
Dr Strahan said, âEmpowering women is the right thing to do because itâs about fundamental human rights, itâs also the smart thing to do.â
âThe Outstanding Women recognized in this booklet act as role models and play a catalyzing role driving social change,â said Dr Strahan. âAustralia is very proud to be part of this big team effort for social change.â
Echoing the same sentiments, Mr James Bradford, the SolRice General Manager said, âGender equality is a core principle of SolRice.
We are committed to supporting and promoting womenâs role in Solomon Island communities. We are happy to partner with UNDP to distribute the âOutstanding Womenâ booklets because when business and international organizations work together, the outcome is much faster.
Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, Mr Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP Country Manager said, âThis is the third time SolRice works with UNDP on a pro-bono basis to implement civic engagement initiatives. It is an example of what can be achieved when national authorities, civil society, development partners and socially committed companies, such as SolRice, work together.â
âI would also like to thank the SOLRIGHT Women Football team who has assisted in the packing and adhering of the booklets to the bags of rice. This team effort will help not only spread the word on the âOutstanding Womenâ initiative but also advance gender equality in Solomon Islands,â Mr Berdi Berdiyev concluded.
With the 2030 Agenda as a guiding thread, UNDP works to advance womenâs participation in civic and political life, their economic empowerment and their role as builders of peace and resilience.
The ongoing dissemination of the âOutstanding Womenâ booklet and the accompanying press briefing were organized by the Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP). SECSIP is implemented by UNDP Solomon Islands and has received financial assistance from the Australian Government, the European Union and UNDP.