Julie is a member of her local Village Advocacy Committee in Malaita province, Solomon Islands.
During a community planning meeting in her village, Julie noticed that men were the key decision-makers in all development projects. Women’s voices were rarely heard, simply because most lacked the confidence to speak up.
Time for change
As part of our Bridging the Gap project, Julie learned how to take part in village action planning. Working with our local partner, Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), she developed skills in finance and decision-making, which gave her greater confidence in speaking up at community meetings. She also learned more about gender roles.
“The trainings I attended have really helped make a difference in our lives as we come to understand that both women and men should participate equally in decision makings and work together to achieve community development aspirations,” said Julie.
“It gave me the courage to speak up in public meetings.”
Julie now shares the skills she learned with other women in her community. She also joined the management committee of the Faumamanu Savings Group. In this role, she educates villagers about how to save money to pay for their everyday needs and become more self-reliant.
“The program has shown us the way forward,” said Julie. “It is time for our communities to appreciate and respect our women to be part of all decision makings in order to achieve our identified priority areas: sanitation, water supply, animal control and schools, to name a few.”
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Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).