BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
SOLOMON Islands women have played a fundamental role in the economy especially on how best they can earn to sustain their families.
This was revealed to this paper by Honourable Lanelle Tanangada, Minister for Women Youth Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), during the launching ceremony of the community perceptions of gender norms and economic opportunities in Solomon Islands report in Honiara.
Tanangada said women’s economic contribution is quite broad which includes 90 percent of the income from tourism which is generated by women.
She said in relation to the matter, 90 percent of the vendors at the central market in Honiara are women, and women make up at least 50 percent of the agriculture workforce.
Tanangada adds that the evidence of this can be seen everywhere, more so in these modern times.
She adds sadly these figures also speak of the increasing resilience on cash, high cost of living and the ever growing need of families and communities.
Tanangada voiced this has placed an even greater burden on women and girls compared to the past.
She said women also faced greater risk in meeting this demands in which it is impaired by strong social norms about gender roles of women in the home and communities which regularly also results in violence posing as one of the key barrier to women accessing economic opportunities.
Tananagada said the evidence of this is also captured by an international; survey in 2012 called women in economic opportunity index where it found that Solomon Islands ranks 124 out of 128 countries in the world when it comes to empowering women economically.
“In other words our women, who are our mothers, sisters, daughters and grandmothers, are in this modern age are some of the most disadvantaged women in the world,” she said.