Solomons Western Province taking the lead in addressing gender and women’s issues

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DEAR EDITOR, this week as Parliament was welcoming its newest member to the house, Ms. Lanelle Tagaganda, after her election victory in the Gizo- Kolombangara by-election in May, the Western Provincial Government was affirming its commitment to addressing gender and women’s issues with the launch of its first-ever women’s policy.

It was reported that the Western Province Women’s Empowerment and Transformation Policy for Development was a blueprint for the strategies, projects and programmes the province that can use to address obstacles that prevent women from nurturing their talents and fully participating as equal partners in provincial development.

Quoting from an article in the Solomon Star, in remarks during the launch, the Director of Women in the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Pauline Soaki said the policy, which the Western Provincial Government Executive endorsed and was noted in the Provincial Assembly earlier this year, and was in line with the National Development Strategy2016-2035. The strategy aiming to achieve full gender equality by eliminating gender discrimination in the social, cultural, economic and political spheres. (Solomon Star)

“Indeed, the policy’s goal that women and girls are empowered to transform their status to improve their livelihoods and ensure full participation in the sustainable development of Western Province is bold, smart and compelling,” Ms. Soaki said.

“This goal, translated into eight strategic outcomes, offers many entry points for various stakeholders, including development partners, civil society, the private sector and academia, to work together with the Western Provincial Government on the interlinked pillars of social, economic and political empowerment of women.” Ms. Soaki added.

It is understood the policy also reflects the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes gender equality as a fundamental right and a driver of progress in achieving all development goals.

Again to quote Ms Soaki’s words. “This goal, translated into eight strategic outcomes, offers many entry points for various stakeholders, including development partners, civil society, the private sector and academia, to work together with the Western Provincial Government on the interlinked pillars of social, economic and political empowerment of women.”

I very much hope to see the early outcomes Ms. Soaki has envisaged could come about and I offer my congratulations to the Western Provincial Government for this long awaited initiative on gender equality and women’s issues.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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