BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
SOLOMON Islands including Pacific Islands countries are currently attending the 14th Triennial Conference for Pacific Women conducted virtually aimed at sustaining the momentum towards gender equality in the Pacific.
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Women, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) Cendrick Alependava says the 14th Triennial is vital because it provides a space for women and girls in Solomon Islands Pacific Island Countries for them to be able to voice issues affecting them, they can be able to meet, congregate and simultaneously to share experiences, skills and learning specially to identify measures to advance women and girls.
Alependava said it also provides an opportunity to improve women’s participation in economic development.
“At the moment this momentum is for women’s empowerment and gender equality.”
“Basically, to raise issues pertaining to women as we faced in Solomon Islands and these issues will then have recommendation made forward by members attending the conference,” he said.
Alependava further stressed according to past triennial meetings and meetings in Beijing they have noted some critical areas to focus on to be able to help women.
He said particularly on 13 areas some health, education and training, economic empowerment, agriculture and fishing, legal and human rights, shared decision making, environment, culture and family, mechanism to promote the advancement of women, peace and justice, gender-based violence, poverty reduction women to name a few.
Alependava said these are important areas on this 14th Triennial conference which we will be also trying to address.
On the same event Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Honourable Marisa Payne said Australia will to support programs such as empower women which is training and enabling women leaders across Pacific Islands who represent and advocate for justice climate polices.
“I hope the discussions during the triennial can deliver practical suggestions on these issues, it is what women and girls in the Pacific expect and frankly deserved.”
“Australia will continue to play an active role to deepening our ongoing partnership across the regions to accelerate progress of gender equality for women and girls,” Payne said.
Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Honourable Mereseini Vuniwaqa during the opening of the Triennial yesterday said this is a critically important meeting.
“A year since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, life as we knew has been on pause, changed and transformed while the inequalities we lived with before the pandemic have carried over to the new normal, left unchecked and sadly increased.
“In short, COVID-19 revealed and intensified the precarious situation of women and girls across the globe and in the Pacific, especially in terms of their economic security, physical safety, health and access to decision-making spaces.
This is the backdrop against which we are combating and trying to recover from,” Hon. Vuniwaqa said.