Central ward council members of the Western Province Council of Women (WPCW) have amplified their voices by actively marking priority areas in their consultation on the review of the WPCW constitution and strategic plan.
Forty-one women representatives from all 20 wards surrounding the Western province capital, Gizo convened at the WPCW Resource Centre last week for intensive discussions.
These wards comprise of women from Kolobangara, Simbo, Ranogga, Vella La Vella and New Georgia.
Information sharing focused on the proper governing structures and was simplified through sessions facilitated by WPCW executive representatives.
Legal consultant, John Smith Pitabelama and WPCW executive clarified the legal processes involved and stressed the importance of the women’s voices in creating a constitution that captures all their perspectives and their ownership of the document.
Participants were vocal on what they did not understand and took advantage of the consultation as an opportunity to learn as much as they could.
President of North Vella La Vella Women’s Association (JJWDA) and representative of Ward 10, Hilda Domuo says reviewing the constitution with a law professional has helped the women see what will work best for the women of Western Province and the WPCW’s future progress in reaching down to ward councils.
“I really thank Oxfam, for having concerns for us women in rural areas and bringing us together in Gizo. I really appreciate what they have done and for funding this workshop,” says Ms Domuo.
Varina Qila from Ward five Central Ranogga said the consultation has clearly informed the women on all the roles and functions of the different bodies they need to connect to in the provincial and national government structure.
The two-day consultation was supported by the Safe Families Project, a partnership between the Western Province Council of Women and Oxfam. The Western province is one of the selected areas for Phase II of the project.
The Safe Families Project is an Australian government-funded initiative focused on developing better communities by addressing gender inequalities and family violence against women and girls. Sixty-four percent of Solomon Islands women from 15-49 reported physical and/or sexual violence by a partner.