New Women’s Empowerment and Development Policy Launched

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Over a hundred women from the private sector came together for breakfast to mark the International Women's Day.

Malaita Women’s Empowerment and Development Policy (MWEP) was unveiled on International Women’s Day at an event held in Auki, Malaita Hotel, with a call for gender justice, equality, integration, inclusiveness and shared responsibility for sustainable development in the country.

Developed through a consultative process and coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Youths, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) with support from UN Peacebuilding (UNPBF) project, implemented by UNDP and UN Women, the MWEP provides a broad framework to guide and coordinate all efforts for addressing gender inequality and discrimination in Malaita.

“The new policy sets out priorities, builds coherence and facilitate resource mobilization in support of gender equality and equity” explained the Director of MWYCFA, Mrs. Pauline Soaki.

Stressing that the goal of improving the status of women remains a government priority, the director said that the government is committed to building a gender-just society by preventing and addressing any discrimination based on gender.

The work towards development of provincial gender policies was a result from the National Women’s Summit for Peacebuilding and Women, Peace and Security in October 2016 where the resolutions to the issues women raised were specific to provincial women having their own blueprint to guide and resource the direction for which women’s empowerment is addressed.  The Women’s National Summit was supported under UNPBF Phase-1.  The MWYCFA has supported the dialogue towards the development of the provincial policies which will alignment with the National Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2016-2020, and the WPS National Action Plan 2017-2021.

This is the first ever Malaita’s Women Empowerment and Development Policy 2018-2022.  The Malaita Women’s Empowerment and Development policy provides a framework for all Malaitan women and men to embrace their development and contribute to the growing economy of Malaita and recognises the growing gender inequalities and the challenges women faced in the everyday life.

Speaking at the event, Honourable Peter Ramohia, Premier of Malaita provincial government said, “we are watching Western Province closely on TSM and keen to progress women’s political participation. If other provinces can do it so can Malaita province”

Echoing similar remarks, UNPBF representative who read a speech on behalf of the project team, Ms Audrey Micah Manu, emphasized the need to “ensure that the priorities of the Malaita Empowerment and Development policy are reflected in the provincial development plans and implemented by all relevant government departments civil society”.

The event was well attended by representatives of various women leaders from Malaita communities, Malaita Provincial Executive Members, Malaita Provincial Government Heads of Departments, Premier, Provincial Minister for Women and Children, representatives from the UN Peacebuilding project, development partners, faith-based organizations, NGOs and civil society and development partners.

Source: UNDP Press