THE Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) is currently rehabilitating the existing St Martin feeder road, Central Guadalcanal over a distance of 8.5 km.
Capital Construction is the contractor engaged by the Ministry to undertake the rehabilitation works.
The contractor employed 11 local workers of which five are women and six men, including two Works Supervisors from the nearby communities.
When interviewed, both men and women were working the same number of hours and were paid the same rate of $7.00/hour.
Despite the very busy Christmas and New Year festivity preparations and celebrations, community members along the St Martin Road who have been employed by the Capital Construction see it as equally important to put time into carrying out the work on the road as their responsibility to be at home with their families preparing for the festive season.
They see the importance of better road access and at the same time the extra income is going towards supporting their families and meeting their needs including school fees, food, clothing and other financial commitments.
According to Benedeth Soloa, one of the female workers, the income received supplements what her husband already earned so it is a boost for the family financially.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Moses Virivolomo said through its programs MID encourages community participation in various ways.
“One of these is paid employment of men and women along road sections where the rehabilitation works take place,” Mr Virivolomo said.
He said the MID acts in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Youth and Children Affairs (MWYC) and in accordance with the Solomon Islands National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Development.
“Outcomes 2 and 5 of the policy are to improve economic status of women and increase capacity for gender mainstreaming.
“The MID in its programming strives to promote women’s participation through infrastructure rehabilitation works and engaging equal paid labor for women,” he said.