Close to 30 women gathered in Honiara, Solomon Islands last week to research, develop and validate gender-inclusive recommendations to the Traditional Governance, Customs and Facilitation Bill (TGCFB).

This was tailored to reflect the unique challenges women face, and work with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affair to ensure women’s and girls’ voices are heard and included when adopting the Bill.

Through the validation workshop, the participants, the UN Women team facilitating the workshop, as well as other partners had an opportunity to inform key relevant stakeholders on the consolidated recommendations on the Bill from all consultations with women leaders carried out in 2020, including recommendations from the gender assessment of the Bill.

The workshop also enabled the team to share and collect feedback from key stakeholders on the consolidated Bill recommendations and proposed gender-inclusive amendments.

The Traditional Governance, Customs and Facilitation Bill (TGCFB) aims to give community and clan leaders more leverage in resolving disputes. It encourages their engagement, collaboration, and contribution in government-traditional organization relationship dialogues.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day validation workshop, the Director for the Traditional Governance Division within the Ministry of Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs (MTGPEA), Mr Chris Tabea, highlighted the important role of developing a gender-sensitive Bill and also added the need for better involvement of women and girls while working on the Bill recommendations.

“In order to achieve better development outcomes, women must be fully included in developing policies and laws that affect their livelihoods and well-being,” said Mr Chris Tabea.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women, including barriers to negotiating and decision-making processes. Women should have same opportunities as men to participate and impact the policies which directly affect their lives and must be at the core of the country’s efforts towards an inclusive and resilient future.”

At the end of the validation workshop, the facilitators evaluated and discussed the final proposed recommendations with participants and substantiated the consolidated recommendations for the Bill to be hand over to the Ministry of Traditional Governance Committee later this month.

With the 2030 Agenda as a guiding thread, UNDP and UN Women work to advance people’s civic and political life, economic empowerment, and role as peace- and resilience-builders.

The validation workshop was conducted with the support of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and the Ministry of Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs by the Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources (IGNR) Project implemented by UNDP Solomon Islands and UN Women with the financial support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

Source: UNDP Press Release