Twin launches of two new policies for women and a pioneering book about Solomon Islands women in Government, Being The First, are fitting ways to mark International Women's Day 2010, RAMSI Special Coordinator, Graeme Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said RAMSI, welcomed the Solomon Islands Government's new policies on Gender Equality and Women's Development and Eliminating Violence Against Women as major steps forward for all Solomon Islanders, women and men.

The Gender Equality and Women's Development Policy, recently approved by Cabinet, has five areas of priority including traditional areas of support such as health and education, the same time it establishes new national strategies and targets issues such as improving the economic status of women and equal participation of women and men in decision making and leadership.

A separate policy on the fifth priority area, the elimination of violence against women was also launched yesterday.

"I congratulate the Solomon Islands Government, in particular the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs, for achieving these milestones," Mr Wilson said.
"RAMSI strongly supports any measures to improve opportunities for the women and men of Solomon Islands to realise the full potential of their nation."

RAMSI was also proud to have been a joint publisher of the new book, Being The First: Storis Blong Olketa Mere lo Solomon Aelan, which tells the stories of 14 women who broke through numerous barriers, charting their journeys to positions of leadership in Solomon Islands.

The new book represents the culmination of over two years of research and interviews by a team led by two members of RAMSI's Women in Government program, Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard and Marilyn Waring. The book includes profiles of current and former Solomon Islands Permanent and Under Secretaries, the current Clerk of Parliament Taeasi Sanga and the first and only Solomon Island female parliamentarian, Hilda Kari.
According to Ms Pollard and Ms Waring, Being The First was written to serve as an inspiration to Solomon Islands women.

"The aim of Being The First is to provide an historical record of how the women of Solomon Islands have overcome enormous adversity to achieve great things in their country," said Ms Pollard.

"And while the book features 14 stories of Solomon Islands women, we hope it provides the inspiration for many hundreds more."

RAMSI's celebration of International Women's Day continues this week with the annual RAMSI Women's Breakfast and Special Coordinator's Award for Women recognizing the contribution of an outstanding Solomon Islands woman to the life of the nation. The former head of Samoa's Public Service Commission, Dr Fa'amausili Matagialofi Lua'iufi will give the keynote address 'Women who Change the World'.

RAMSI's Participating Police Force (PPF) is also supporting the RSIPF's Women's Conference which is being held this week.

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