Economic empowerment of women is crucial for Solomon Islands as it depends very much on a subsistance based economy,says Dr Alice Pollard.
Speaking during the launching and celebration of the womens financial inclusion initiative at the Gizo netball stadium last Friday, Dr Pollard said Solomon islands economy depends very much on subsistance economy.
“This country depends on its subsistance economy and with no doubt ,the majority of contributors to this economy are rural women. They spend their lives every day producing goods that the subsistance economy depends on for their livelihood.
“If only this economy is streghtened, the economy will continue to grow and impacts lives by way of bringing up the standard of living and opportunities for women,” Dr pollard said.
She said today women are faced with a lot of difficulties including cultural dispairities but yet continue to ensure food is on the table each day for their families.
Dr Pollard stressed that if only women are economically empowered, they can do amazing things for their families and communities.
She said women are great managers in their own right having to manage everything in their families and ensure everything is just right.
“Therefore if they are empowered, that would put cream on the cake for women who have great managerial skills in a lot of different departments within their own economy which if combined like in schemes like the savings club, will impact positively to their livlihood as well as to the economy,” Dr Pollard said.
The women’s financial inclusion initiative is part of of a project that World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Pacific (SI Office) is implementing to improve the livelihoods of coastal artisinal fishing communities in Western province through the trial of alternative fishing methods, such as Inshore Fish Aggregating Devices (IFAD).
Funding for this project is provided through WWF-Australia, Australian Aid and John West
The project includes a number of components, including the deployment of IFADs, micro-financing, socio-economic and ecological monitoring of the impacts of the IFADs, coastal fisheries management, and capacity support.
The financial unclusion initiative falls under the micro-financing component of the IFAD project.
Meanwhile the get together of Gizo and Nusatuva Islands women last Fridy was basically to launch and celebrate the succes of their savings club since its inception six months ago and is showing some positive signs of growth.
By Daniel Namosuaia