A five days Gender and Election training workshop was held in Taro, Solomon Islands from 29 October-2 November, 2012 for Choiseul Provincial Council of Women and their stakeholders. Following a BRIDGE Gender and Elections training held in Gizo, Western Province in 2010, the Choiseul Provincial Council of Women and the Women’s Development Division in Choiseul requested UNWomen to conduct a similar training for their Stakeholders. Thirty participants attended the workshop. They represent 15 provincial wards of women in Choiseul Province, Choiseul Provincial Government, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), the business sector, youth and community leaders. The training will help the Provincial Council of Women to plan and prepare for the upcoming Choiseul Provincial Elections in June 2013 and the 2014 National General Elections.
Some immediate positive output from the workshop include networks and partnership strengthened with individuals and the Choiseul Provincial Council of Women and the Choiseul Provincial Government, participants (especially women) gained more confidence – for instance one woman confirmed her decision to contest Ward 12, Senga in the provincial elections in June 2013, and plans developed by participants during the “Make it Happen” session was included on the agenda for the Choiseul Provincial Council of Women’s Executive meeting held two days after the training.
The participants enjoyed the five days training and were actively engaged throughout the different sessions.
Here is what some participants say about the five days workshop:
Pastor Oliver Poloso “the sex and gender session has opened my eyes and mind to understand the difference between sex and gender and has made me to become more sensitive to any discriminatory actions toward women and girls”
Nikola, President of Ward 5 “first time to know the meaning of big words like electoral systems and electoral processes, very interesting”
Leticia “I now understand the role of the observers and election related responsibilities and will support my husband to carry out his duties as an election manager during elections”
Facilitators for the workshop include Ms Josephine Teakeni from Vois Blong Mere Solomons, Ms Viola Malasa from Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, Ms Christina Mitini from UNDP and Audrey Manu from UNWomen.
UN Women’s Gender Equality in Political Governance (GEPG) Programme is a five year programme and is committed to delivering its capacity building activities using BRIDGE methodology to assist women and relevant stakeholders.