BY BEN BILUA
WOMEN leaders of Guadalcanal, Western and Malaita provinces have joined forces to enhance women participation in decision making at provincial and national levels.
A total of 21 women representatives from respective provinces who are part of the Provincial Women Caucus leaders gathered at Mendana Hotel yesterday for a two days’ workshop to review their existing Terms of Reference (TOR) and also establish a strategic platform that would see the program roll out effectively.
UN Women Solomon Islands based representative; Ms Audrey Manu said the workshop is aimed at building skill and confidence among women caucus leaders to engage in policy discussion with executives, other government officials, traditional and religious leaders.
She said knowledge and skill obtain from the workshop will determine possible provincial caucus agenda items with timelines, in accordance with the national and provincial women’s policies and in view of the upcoming national election.
Manu said Women Provincial Caucus leaders will scrutinize the existing Women’s Caucus TOR today (Tuesday) and come up with the final document that will later submitted to respective provincial executive for endorsement.
She said women caucus provincial leaders with provincial government executives will then implement the work plan within the six months.
“UN Women through United Nation Peace Building Fund and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs will help the provincial women’s caucus assume their advisory role to the provincial executive in the implementation of respective provincial women’s Empowerment and Transformation Policies for development, the National Dialogue Resolution and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security,” Ms Manu said.
UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, Ms Meron Genene said provincial Women Caucus leaders programs is very important in segregated society where decision making is male dominated.
She said Women Caucus leaders will be the voice of women and children in any decision making at community, provincial and national level.
“Women caucus program is a concept establishes to improve women representation in decision making.
“It will be a cross-party platform that will accommodate linkages between women, provincial and national government.
“This program will set a foundation for women to actively discus and advocate issues affecting women and children,” Genene said.
She said similar concept has been established in some African countries proved successful with better changes for women in the decision making environment.
The United Nations (UN) Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the training in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Women, Children and Family Affairs (MYWCFA) and the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP) under the Women Peace Building Fund Project.