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Women receive grants from Westpac Bank

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WESTPAC Bank yesterday handed over grants to successful applicants for the Westpac Women’s Education Grants.

The grant offers financial assistance to primary school, high school or secondary college girls and women studying at a tertiary institution or women currently working who wish to return to study.

This is the third year since the program started.

Successful applicants yesterday received their grants from Head of Business and Consumer Banking Marieta Hopkins.

Cynthia Manepuria and Rachel Mane’e Kadi won grant assistance for the Primary Category where each received $1000.

Nicola Pongi and Eunice Utukana received $3850 for the High School Category while Anjelyn Papaku and Yearlyn Nonga received $5,500 for the Tertiary Category.

The recipients were awarded with the grants based on their responses to the question “what one opportunity would you provide for women in your country if you could and why?”

Ms Hopkins said Westpac is glad to assist women and girls in education as the bank recognised that education can create employment opportunities for women and girls.

She said according to figures released from AusAID, a staggering US$47 billion is lost in the Asia-Pacific region each year due to women’s limited access to the job market.

“Therefore Westpac believed that keeping women and girls in school can change this statistic for a better by placing them on a path to meaningful employment.”

She added that women currently hold only a few percent of parliamentary seats in the Pacific, yet according to AusAID, with every 1 percent increase in female parliamentary representation, the economy grows by 0.16 percent.

“With such statistics, we can see that education in its ability to create employment opportunities for women and girls, has the potential to help create a more prosperous economic future for the Pacific,” Mr Hopkins said.

Westpac offers six grants in Solomon Islands and a total of 45 across the Pacific region.