BY GEORGE MANFORD
THE Malaita Women’s Empowerment and Development (MWED) in its 2018 to 2022 policy contains seven key areas where women will be involved in as their priority outcomes.
According to Malaita provincial women’s desk officer Ms Clera Rikimani said, the priority includes, improving economic status of women and increased economic empowerment initiatives.
- Improved women’s access to land, water and sanitation
- Response to reduce gender based violence and violence against women
- Build peaceful communities and acknowledgement of women’s role in peace building and preservation of culture identity.
- Equal participation of men and women in leadership roles and decision making
- Established enabling environment for women’s access to services for women’s health and young children education
- Resource and strengthen institutional capacity of women’s machinery.
Those are some of the issues regarding the policy priority outcomes that included in the MWED policy outcomes.
She said for women in Malaita it is a general norm that the women’s and girls’ ability to participate in educational, productive, civic and economic activities to empower themselves is often limited by household division of labour that assigns to women and girls the bulk of the responsibility for every day house hold tasks.
The policy also looking at strengthening its programmes to provide income generating opportunities for rural women, including through credit and loans with long term and low interest reimbursement schemes and by developing rural women entrepreneurial skills.
This also to raise awareness to promote the participation of rural women in decision making processes related to rural policies at the provincial level.
Rikimani adds the MWED also looking at adopting indicators for monitoring the progress achieved in enhancing rural women access to education, health care, safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, employment, social security, formal credit and loans and the formal justice system.
However, the MWED interventions in the policy must address violence against women and girls from comprehensive human rights perspective and ensure that current approaches to prevention of violence against women and girls.
Rikimani also stated that the achievement of equal participation of women and men at all levels of decision making governance and leadership requires a comprehensive approach to addressing the barriers to women’s participation and representation.
Out of the 33 wards in Malaita provincial assembly seats in Malaita province only one female secured a position in the assembly. This might not be significant according to the global standards but for malaita, this is an accomplishment for women as attaining such leadership position comes at high cost and breaking through the cultural barriers.
It is also to ensure women’s full effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economical and public life.
Furthermore, to effectively implement this policy, the women’s desk officer in the ministry of women, youth, children and sports together with the malaita council of women (MPCW) require increased capacity building and institutional strengthening, Rikimani revealed.