THE Guadalcanal Provincial Government’s provincial Minister for Women, Youth and Sports opened the Gold Ridge Women Association shop yesterday.
Situated at the Gold Ridge Mine Site, the retail shop is registered and trading under business name Suta Enterprises Company Ltd, and will serve company workers and the company’s kitchen.
Speaking during the occasion, provincial Minister Rose Tala acknowledged the GRWA’s invitation for her to be the guest of honor and opened the shop.
She began by congratulating the women of Gold Ridge for the milestone achievement.
“This occasion signifies a milestone achievement of partnership between the developer and the people.
“You see in any country and society for this matter, Human Resource is the most critical resource; more valuable than Gold or Silver. This occasion indeed showed that you value the landowners, specifically the women of Gold Ridge”, Tala said.
Minister Tala said the current Guadalcanal provincial Government promotes gender equality and gender balanced participation.
“The current Guadalcanal Provincial Government in it’s governance policy promoted gender equality and gender balance participation in sustainable development of Guadalcanal province. In this regard, I sincerely acknowledge GRML for recognizing and believing in the women of Gold Ridge and Guadalcanal province, so that they can be equal partners through this project in sustainable development of Guadalcanal province.
“Secondly, the Guadalcanal Provincial Government under its service policy wish to empower youth, women, sportsmen and women of Guadalcanal province to recognize their potential to contribute to Social and Economic growth of Guadalcanal province”, she explained.
Ms Tala said the milestone initiative has enabled the women of the region to equally participate in economic activities within this economical region.
Furthermore, the Minister said the Guadalcanal Provincial Government in its policy seeks to improve economic status of women through business partnership and development.
“This occasion we are all here to witness is a drive aimed at facilitating our women to be active partners in business and development.
“And for this, I wish to earnestly thank the GRML Management for sharing the same vision and aspiration as the Guadalcanal Provincial Government”, Minister Tala said.
The provincial Minister also highlighted that women are managers of the family.
“Women are the managers of the family and when you empower more women you are empowering the capacity of individual families, let alone the whole society to actively participate in meaningful development and progress in our society.
The provincial Minister’s special message to the women of Gold Ridge is for them to be proud recipients and beneficiary of this project.
“We must be grateful for allowing our resources to be harnessed in an economical way. Today we witnessed a classic example of positive feedback from allowing investors into our community.
“I on behalf of the Guadalcanal Provincial Government wish to strongly call upon all women to feel the ownership of this shop and to harness the economic opportunities that will be presented and work together to ensure its sustainability”, Minister Tala said.
Speaking on behalf of the Gold Ridge Women Association, the Chairlady Joycelyn Pohungke said it is indeed a historical day for the women of Gold Ridge.
“Today is a historical day for us the women of Gold Ridge area because it is the first time we are given the opportunity to form our own Association under any mining company operating here in Gold ridge.
“We are also privileged to have our Association registered as a legal body. This is a successful initiative by the company management through dialogues with the women from the 10 communities in Gold ridge,” Pohungke explained.
Pohungke briefly outlined the reasons for the Association.
“This Association is established to ensure that the women of Gold ridge are given the freedom, protection, confidence and assistance to explore plan, develop proposals and implement projects that will assist in raising our children free from discrimination and in sharing to improve the living standards of all the residents in our communities,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the company, GRML Director and Deputy General Manager assured the women that the company is committed to assist the Association.
“Thank you for putting a lot of effort to make things happen today, and I can assure you that this is the beginning of many more good things to come.
“This symbolizes the foundation and partnership that sets this project on a strong foundation for us to develop Gold Ridge, not only the mining project but other business opportunities deriving from the gold project.
Wang told the women that their Association is an opportunity to bring all the women of Gold Ridge together.
“Using this opportunity wisely, you can run for a couple of decades.
It’s good that we start to work together. The shop is just a start. I know you can do more things once you have the capabilities.
Wang added that Gold Ridge through this program will bring women closer together and encouraged the women to develop the passion of sharing.
“Now that you have an association, you can collaboratively share your experience, share your knowledge share your wisdom, and share your passions with your husbands.
‘The management team will honour our commitment in terms of business trainings and the support that you need. We will be listening to your concerns, and we will also listen to whatever advice you will have to make this a successful business”, Wang said.
He thanked the community relations team, GCIL and GRCLA for the support and advice rendered to the women Association.
“Indeed, this is a very exciting moment, and I hope you will keep this enthusiasm and maintain that level of enthusiasm. Make sure it is consistent. Going forward, I hope to see the same level of enthusiasm maintained, and hope to see the same effort put into running the shop.
Meanwhile, Hon Tala together with GRML Directors Walton Naezon and Allen Wang cut the ribbon to officially open the Suta Enterprises Company Limited shop.
Hundreds of women, men, youths and employees witnessed the opening of the shop.