REPRESENTATIVES of the Correctional Service Solomon Islands (CSSI) Women’s Network departed for New Caledonia yesterday to attend the regional premiere of their film “Herstory: Women Working in Corrections”.
The UK High Commission and CSSI have funded one of the pioneering women in corrections, Inspector Dorothy Siru and CSSI Women’s Network Chair Wendy Gebe to attend the Ânûû-rû Âboro Film Festival from 18-26 October at Pwêêdi Wiimîâ (Poindimié).
“Herstory: Women Working in Corrections” is co-produced by CSSI Women’s Network Chair Wendy Gebe and Dr Anouk Ride, and directed by Adilah Dolaiano of Sukwadi Media, with support from Australian Aid.
The film tells the story of three pioneering women amongst the first to work in prisons in Solomon Islands: Phylistus Fafoi, Chair of the CSSI Women’s Network from 2003-2010, Inspector Alison Salu, currently working at headquarters and Catherine Nalakia, Gender Officer at CSSI.
All the CSSI network women contributed to the soundtrack of the film, and a book which features more of the women’s stories.
In the film, three women tell their stories of how they came to work in corrections, the toughest times they faced, and how, as a Women’s Network, they changed the law and the system, so women officers could be considered equal to men.
Women working in corrections have made several advances in gender equality including advocating for the right to work in prison blocks for men, attaining maternity leave and other advances in working conditions and solving conflicts between prisoners in their work.
During the festival in the next few weeks, the CSSI Chair and Inspector will participate in screenings and panel discussions about the film and exchange experiences with other women leaders from Noumea and the Northern Province of New Caledonia.
Inspector Dorothy Siru said: “We thank the British High Commission, CSSI and Australian Government for their support for us to travel to attend this regional event and Sukwadi Media for supporting the film production and book Herstory.
“We look forward to the program and thank the Ânûû-rû Âboro Festival Committee for this opportunity to meet other women leaders in New Caledonie”.
Dr Anouk Ride from Sukwadi Media said:
“We are delighted that the film Herstory: Women in Corrections that we co-produced with the CSSI Women’s Network has been accepted into the Ânûû-rû Âboro Festival in regional Pacific competition.
“Both film and correctional services tend to be male-dominated industries.
“So, it is great to be able to have a film produced by women on women’s issues in the competition and for us to profile a success story from Solomon Islands in advancing gender equality.
“We hope audiences in New Caledonia will enjoy seeing what life is like in prisons and feeling some of the experiences women working in corrections have had over the past three decades.”