BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOCIAL norms around age have become very limited to young women and youths, a report shows.
A 2018 report compiled by Strongim Bisnis and Oxfam Solomon Islands shows less participation of women and young people with social norms around age.
Youths appear to be affected by age-based discrimination to varying degrees and more so for unmarried youth especially young women.
According to the report, young unmarried women experience triple discrimination due to age, marital status and gender.
As described by a young woman in the Western province community, “Young married women can make some decisions, but if we are unmarried, we don’t have power.”
To varying degrees, this manifests in young men and especially young women exclusion from family and community decision-making and economic opportunities.
Young women are extremely restricted by social norms; they have a huge burden of unpaid care work, have limited education and economic opportunities and are managing the risks of violence in households and communities on a daily basis, often through limiting their mobility.
In some instances, such as in Guadalcanal, they showed more support for discriminatory social norms than young men and were challenged envisioning alternative futures.
However, from the report young women from Western province supports the theory that education of young women as well as other community members, is an important lever for young women’s empowerment.