The White Ribbon campaign for the first time involved local businesses in the Solomon Islands when marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Honiara on Friday 25th November, 2016.
Businesses marched alongside supporters themed in white and orange from the Honiara City Council compound westward to the National Arts Gallery, Point Cruz.
Businesses participated in support of the “Safe Work Places” campaign – an initiative supported and jointly coordinated by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) with support from the Australian Government.
This marks the start of the umbrella initiative called Empowering Women in the Private Sector in Solomon Islands – which will be driven by SICCI and IFC.
The initiative will work to close gender gaps by fostering respectful workplaces for both women and men, promoting women in leadership, facilitating the recruitment of women in non-traditional jobs, creating supportive networks for professional women and assisting businesses to support their employees who are affected by domestic violence.
Friday’s parade was led by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, the police band, Honiara City Law Enforcement, RAMSI officers and involved a number of NGOs, Government ministries and local businesses.
Supporters marched at 8am from the Honiara City Council headquarter westward to the National Arts Gallery, Point Cruz where keynote speeches were made.
Businesses who pledged their support for the White Ribbon Day cause are:
· Solomon Islands National Provident Fund
· Our Telekom
· ANZ Bank
· Bank of South Pacific (BSP)
· Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA)
· Solomon Breweries
· Tower Insurance
· AJ & G Blulms Ltd
· Nofokava Construction
· Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC)
· HKL Global Services Solomon Islands Ltd
· Skills for Economic Growth Program
Every year on November 25th the community at large supports the White Ribbon Day to mark the International Day to end violence against women.
Violence against women in Solomon Islands is a plague to the country’s economy and is a business case. High absenteeism of women affected by violence at home is also affecting local businesses.
Amongst other work the project will also support the initiating of a “professional women’s network” in the country to encourage women of high potential in the private sector.