BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
TODAY is a great day for all women in this city. You are an important part of all our lives. You are our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends.
Honiara City Council’s (HCC) Deputy City Mayor, Eddie Ngava said these words before launching “International Rural Women’s Day” three-day programme at the national museum’s auditorium yesterday.
Speaking on the day’s theme “Transforming rural and urban women’s life for better future”, he said women are central to the development of rural areas and national economies.
Ngava said women make up a significant proportion of labour in agriculture, play a key role in food production, especially in subsistence farming and perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas.
He also stressed on the challenges women and girls in rural areas face.
Ngava said that they often face restricted access to productive resources such as land, agriculture inputs, finance and credit, extension services and technology.
He added that traditional and cultural norms have also made it more challenging for women and girls in rural areas to gain access to public services, markets and institutions, social protection and decent employment opportunities.
However, Ngava encouraged women to unite and work together to help overcome this challenge.
“I encourage you all to participate, celebrate, share, bond, network and strengthen in unity as we all work together, both parents and government to listen to our women’s cry. This is our challenge. Let us unify and overcome this challenge,” he said.
In further remarks, the Deputy City Mayor acknowledged the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, (MWYCFA) Honiara City Council and DFAT for funding the project.
He also thanked other supporters, representatives of the Honiara Women’s Network and all Women Service providers for supporting the project.
Ngava noted that he is pleased to see partnership unfold and looks forward to producing more projects with them in the future.