BY GEORGINA KEKEA
THE women of North East Guadalcanal are once again calling on Guadalcanal Members of Parliament (MPs) to provide a good market space for them.
A woman from Tathiboko says the women from West to East Central Guadalcanal are the ones that also provide fresh produce for the citizens of Honiara but lacks the proper space to sell their produce.
She said the women from Guadalcanal usually travel long distances in odd hours only to be provided a space that is not conducive for them.
She said the call had been made a long time already, but their MPs have not been able to address their plight.
She said women from Guadalcanal continued to face the same problem over and over again when they come to Honiara to sell their produce.
“We want a space where we can be able to sell our produce free from fear and intimidation.”
She said most times they are being bullied into selling their produce for less than what it is worth by the Honiara market venders.
In response, Member of Parliament for East Guadalcanal, Bradley Tovosia says the women from Guadalcanal must try to be more aggressive.
He says most times the women from Guadalcanal are being bullied because they are too quiet and timid.
“You have to be aggressive like them too. You must stand up for your right. Aggressive in the business sense is what I meant,” he said.
At the same time the Guadalcanal Provincial Secretary revealed that construction work is still ongoing for a market place for the women from Guadalcanal.
He said currently there are two areas allocated for the market place for Guadalcanal women.
One in the Western end of Honiara and the other is at Henderson, just past the Alligator Bridge.
He said Guadalcanal province will be putting out notice for tenders soon so that construction work can start.
He also clarified that money for the market projects are from the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) in the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening and not from Guadalcanal provincial government or the National Members of Parliament.
“Once this is complete, women from both ends of Guadalcanal can be able to sell their produce at the market house. This market house is for Guadalcanal women only and owned by the Guadalcanal people,” he said.
The problems the women from Guadalcanal raised ranges from harassment, accommodation, market space and sanitation.
In the Guadalcanal provincial gender equality and equal participation in development amended policy 2016 – 2019, there is optimism for improved economic status of their women, girls and boys.
This is not only in the informal sector but also in the formal sector.
This policy sets the framework whereby the provincial government and the national government can work in alignment to improve the economic status of the people of Guadalcanal.
The policy contains seven objectives.