A week long training workshop on Gender and Elections organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women or UNIFEM ended successfully on Friday 26th November, 2010. The training workshop was conducted in partnership with the Western and Choiseul Provincial Councils of Women and marks the first of a series of workshops planned for at the provincial level in Solomon Islands. The training was held in Gizo, the provincial capital of Western Province from 22nd-26th November, 2010.
The BRIDGE Gender and Election workshop brought together church leaders, provincial elected government representatives and civil servants, communities and women leader representatives from across Western and Choiseul provinces. The BRIDGE facilitation team for the workshop included Ms Leotina Harihiru- a freelance BRIDGE facilitator, Ms Audrey Micah Manu from UNIFEM and Ms Barbara Unusu from the Western Provincial Council of Women.
The training was officially opened by Honorable George Vudere, the Deputy Speaker of the Western Provincial Government. In his opening speech, Hon Vudere highlighted the need for men and women in Western and Choiseul provinces to work together as partners in progressing gender equality at the provincial and national levels. He also focused on the importance of the BRIDGE training workshop as an opportunity for all participants to learn about the principles of electoral issues in general and how they affect women’s representation in particular.
The training workshop provided a forum and an opportunity for provincial participants from the two provinces to discuss openly gender issues and to share their experiences in the recent national elections held in Solomon Islands in August 2010.
UNIFEM’s Gender Equality in Political Governance (GEPG) Programme is committed to delivering its capacity building activities using BRIDGE methodology to assist women and relevant stakeholders.