Providing greater opportunities for women to be representatives on public boards, councils and commissions in Solomon Islands is the key driver behind a new database of women's resumés, launched in Honiara today.

A joint project between the Solomon Islands Government and RAMSI's Machinery of Government program, the new CV database already has over 100 profiles of women from all sectors of Solomon Islands public life and is designed to provide a resource for government and organisations to appoint appropriate women to boards and commissions.

The database features women from across all parts of society, all provinces and all age groups and is sorted by sector experience, allowing those seeking new appointments to find the most appropriate potential board candidates easily.

Information will be held at various locations throughout Solomon Islands including at the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs, Solomon Islands Parliament, the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet and National Council of Women.

Access to the database will also be made available for non-government and community sector organisations who are seeking women's representation on their boards or at international conferences and workshops.

The database was officially launched by Lady Grace Kabui, the wife of the Solomon Islands Governor-General, herself a representative on a number of boards and committees, who said that the initiative was an important one for helping women take on more leadership positions in Solomon Islands.

"Of the many hundred positions on public boards and commissions throughout Solomon Islands, just over 40 of these are held by women," Lady Kabui said.

She added that at a time when Solomon Islands does not have a single representative in National Parliament and just three women represented in Provincial Assemblies, opening up leadership opportunities for women was of critical importance.

"Equality in our country's decision-making is vital," said Lady Kabui. "I urge decision-makers to make the most of this new resource and to improve gender representation and voice in our country's leadership."

The project's coordinator, Dr Alice Pollard of RAMSI's Women in Government Program, said that the new database would go a long way to ending the perception that there are not enough qualified women for leadership positions in Solomon Islands.

"Solomon Islands now has a fantastic resource to highlight the outstanding skills of women, and for government and organisations to ensure they provide more equal representation for both the men and women of this country," she said.

"I truly hope that we never have to hear the phrase, 'we could not find any suitable women to appoint' again."

Dr Pollard also noted that the database content would be continually updated as more and more Solomon Islands women registered their details.

"Every woman participating in public service training through the Institute of Public Administration & Management will be given the opportunity to lodge their details in the database," explained Dr Pollard. "And with over 300 Solomon Islands women expected to undertake training through the Institute this year, we expect the CV database will grow very quickly."

Those wishing to register their details with the database are encouraged to contact the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth & Children's Affairs. Forms are available in both English and Solomon Islands pidgin.

Source: Press Release, RAMSI Media