A statement from the MPS said the Women in Leadership Action Plan addresses one of the objectives of the draft Public Service Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy.
“The stakeholders are drawn from all the 24 ministries of the Solomon Islands Public Service, NGOs, CSOs, the media, as well as some members of the donor community,” the statement said.
“Many of the stakeholders at the validation meeting had earlier participated in consultative meetings and made inputs to the design of the Action Plan,” it added.
“The wide consultations and validation processes are geared towards ensuring that every actor is on-board and ready to implement the Action plan.
“Some of the proposed actions in the plan include developing networks, mentoring and engaging with men to sponsor, champion and support women to attain leadership positions.”
The Action Plan sets out a multi-pronged approach for promoting women’s leadership under three headings: 1) Develop; 2) Advocate and 3) Measure.
The draft Action Plan is now being validated to ensure that proposed actions are appropriate, with the right targets and indicators.
The stakeholders will work in small groups under the three aims of the draft Action plan and implementation will commence immediately after the validation.
Speaking at the opening of the validation meeting, Nego Sisiolo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service , stated that that the effectiveness and efficiency of the Solomon Islands Public Service and the nation depended on harnessing the full potentials of women in decision-making.
He noted that the current situation where women accounted for only 5 per cent of Public Service senior management positions was no longer tenable, hence the emphasis on getting all stakeholders on board to collaborate and make the needed changes.
He reiterated that gender equality is a major priority for the government and that the Ministry of Public Service is committed to ensuring greater gender balance and diversity in its workforce and promoting more women in leadership and decision-making positions across the Public service, in order to better tackle the challenges and cross-cutting issues facing the public service today and into the future.
The MPS is collaborating with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) to develop the Action Plan, with technical support from the Australian government.
Also speaking during the opening of the workshop was the Program Manager for Governance at the Australian High Commission, Bridget Sitai, who reiterated Australia’s firm support towards promoting gender equality and empowering women as key to achieving sustainable development in Solomon Islands.
She also acknowledged the efforts of the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs in taking concrete steps to ensure that this initiative is realized.
The validation workshop is being run for one day and is held at the Paul Tovua Complex (PTC) conference room at the National Parliament.