The award ceremony was held on Tuesday 11th June at Heritage Park Hotel Conference Room.
Sigimanu was amongst 13th Women Courage Award recipients since the award was introduced in 2007 by the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
This award honours courage woman who are making history by risking their life in and well-being to stop human trafficking, violence, child marriage and corruption and stood up for justice, human rights, reform and the rule of law.
US Ambassador to Solomon Islands Catherine Ebert Gray was in Honiara to present the award to Sigimanu at a small, but significant ceremony.
During her opening remark Gray she said that “the Embassy recognized her courage to protect women and children against gender violence across Solomon Island.
“And each year the U.S Embassy in Port Moresby selects three women of courage, one of each from Papua New Guinea, the Solomons and Vanuatu.”
“The former PS for Ministry of Women, Youth and Children who started of the ministry in 2007 gained her courage to protect women and children of Solomon Islands made her eligible received this award.”
In addition, Lanelle Tanangada Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Service and Member of Parliament for Gizo/Kolombangara Constituency, also spoke on behalf of the Government.
She conveyed sincere appreciation to the Government of United Stated through the United States of Embassy in PNG for honoring women every year.
“And encouraged women who are leaders in their own right should continue to embrace courage and continue to display essence,” she said.
She further stated that Solomon Islands women have encountered many hindrances along their path to leadership and so many challenges within their views and ideas but it was with situation that courage is known.
Sigimanu shared her opportunity in leading some of the national efforts towards addressing Gender based Violence (GBV),
Her concern in developing the eliminating violence against women and girls national policy action plan was acknowledged.
She also supported the improved role of SAFENET through the UN Women and helped with the passing of the Family Protection Act 2014 and the Child and Family Welfare Act 2016 and amendments to the penal code on sexual violence.
She said that the Courage Award has grown its potential for women’s empowerment here in the Solomon Islands.
“Women’s empowerment needs courage and leadership to be able to succeed in making a difference to the lives of women and girls who are invisible and exist,” she said.
She concluded with a remark saying “every day presents new challenges to fight for equality therefore this award serves as encouragement for women and girls to rise and make a difference.”
Also present at the ceremony were the Prime Minister’s wife Emmy Sogavare, Attorney General John Muria Jnr, Deputy Director East Asia Pacific Bureau in Washington Jennifer Spande and former recipients of the Women Courage Award.
By LEOTINA AKWAI