BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
ON Wednesday 20 women from Maliata province had dialogue based on the recently launched policy of Malaita Province Women’s Empowerment and Development Policy 2018 to 2022 and issues facing women with their members of Parliament at the Paul Tovua Complex in Honiara.
The seven policies outcome discussed 1.Improved economic status of women and support economic empowerment initiatives, 2.Support women’s access to land, water and Sanitation, 3.Respond to reduce gender based violence and violence against women, 4.Building peaceful communities and acknowledging women’s role in peacebuilding and preservation of cultural identity, 5.Equal participation of men and women in leadership roles and decision making, 6.Provide an enabling environment for women’s access to service for women’s health and education, including young children’s education and 7.Resource and strengthen institutional capacity of women machinery.
Speaking at the official opening yesterday Minister for Women Youth Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) Freda Tuki Soriacomua said she is pleased with the collaboration between the ministry and the women in Malaita province which has been very positive and is strengthened by their working together to advance women’s economic empowerment and gender equality in Malaita.
She said the development of policy which the dialogue is based on is in response to calls from the Malaita women who attended the national women summit on peace building and peace and security National Action Plan consultation 2016.
“This policy is to ensure that priorities of women and girls in Malaita, including those who are marginalised and disadvantaged are met in a coordinated and systematic process.
“Hence my ministry will continue to work with respective members of parliament and the provincial government to support advocacy programmes and services for women’s development and empowerment,” she said.
Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Sport for Malaita Provincial Assembly Rose Liata said the policy recognises that investing in women’s empowerment is vital to improve the wellbeing of families and communities as well as achieving gender equality.
“This means that strategies must recognise the need for women and men to work together to address attitudinal and institutional barriers to women’s empowerment and development.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela, MP for Small Malaita said the dialogue shows that there is more work needed to be done and carried out by Malaita’s 14 members of parliament together with the people of the province.
He said all the issues discussed and raised on Wednesday’s dialogue are vital and need everybody’s contribution right from the community level right up to the national level.
Hou said they (Malaita MPs) are looking to further dialogue and participate in the next step of this initiative.
The dialogue has given space for the 20 women to raise concerns on issues facing women and the people of Malaita based on the policy; the leaders took turn to respond on their (women) interventions