Participants of a gender equality forum in Honiara were told to share information and build coalition to advocate and raise awareness of gender equality issues.
About 30 women, including provincial council women reps, NGOs and rep from government ministries participated in the two-day forum held at the Heritage Park Hotel.
The forum was to strengthen coordination and cooperation among civil society organisations working to promote gender equality this year.
The topics discussed include the Family Protection Act 2014 and the Concluding Observations (recommendations) from the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
EU ambassador to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Leonadis Tezapsidis highlighted to the women that the forum is timely.
“The forum is timely because the prime minister this week has announced its policy statement with all the activities, programs and priorities of the government, that we have to go into all documents and see what is there and how you can bring together and promote the women and gender issues with the government, and how you can promote it not only to the Guadalcanal province and Honiara city but in all the provinces.”
He added he is happy to see women from the provinces participated in the forum and very important to have this discussion.
He told the women that it is important to plan their activities, their action on gender promotion, gender discrimination issues but also to promote this unity and the common way of seeing these issues which are transverse they go through all the staff of the society.
“You also need to exchange views and see what has worked in other countries of the regions because am afraid you’re not the only ones in the Solomon islands who are facing this problems, in terms of discrimination and violence against women.”
Ambassador Tezapsidis congratulate all participants for showing interest by taking part in forum.
Empowering Civil Society to promote gender equality and combat gender discrimination project in Solomon Islands was funded by EU’s instrument for promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and peace.
Its objective is to strengthen the role of civil society in promoting gender equality and combating gender discrimination and to contribute to the development of relevant jurisprudence through strategic litigation.
This is the last forum of the project held this year.
The outcome of the gender equality forum is for participants to build partnerships, resource sharing and national and provincial linkages strengthened.
By TRIXIE CARTER