The Tina River Hydropower Project (TRHDP) Office hosted a one-day Gender Action Plan (GAP) workshop in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue to raise awareness about gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The workshop aimed to highlight the importance of mainstreaming gender equality for the Project as it progresses with construction activities, while familiarising participants with ADB's approach and GAP implementation and reporting requirements.

The event combined stakeholders from Tina Hydropower Limited (THL), Hyundai Engineering Company (HEC) and the TRHDP Office (PO) while some joined online from other projects funded by ADB to learn from the workshop.

Experienced facilitators led the discussion including Hannah Jay (International Gender Capacity Development Specialist), Ms Lulu Zuniga-Carmine (International Gender Implementation Specialist), and Helen Dolaiano (TRHDP Gender Specialist).

Gender specialist from the Project Office team, Mrs Dolaiano, said “during the workshop, it was good to note the participants understood that gender equality goes beyond simply achieving parity between men and women; it involves recognizing and addressing the different needs, roles, and aspirations of individuals based on their gender. They were also introduced to the idea of gender mainstreaming, which involves integrating a gender perspective into all project activities and decision-making processes.”

The workshop then focused on the significance of taking action on gender equality within the context of TRHDP. Participants were made aware of the potential benefits of gender mainstreaming, such as improved project outcomes, enhanced social inclusivity, and increased community participation.

They were also made aware of the risks associated with failing to consider gender issues, including perpetuating gender disparities and excluding marginalized groups from project benefits.

Mrs Dolaiano shared the ADB's approach to gender mainstreaming, highlighting the Bank’s gender policy and guidelines on gender. The 30% target on female employment for the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) was also being discussed as an example of ADB’s corporate gender targets.

“To ensure effective implementation and achievement of of TRHDP's gender indicators, participants got familiarised with the GAP targets and activities. The GAP lays out a clear roadmap for integrating gender considerations into various project components, such as infrastructure development, environmental management, and community engagement. Workshop participants were encouraged to contribute their ideas and suggestions for realizing gender objectives, and to identify potential challenges that could arise in the process,” she stated.

The Tina River Hydropower Development Project is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government with financing and support from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Australia, the Green Climate Fund, Korea EX-IM Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and the World Bank.

Throughout the workshop, an inclusive and participatory atmosphere was fostered, allowing participants to share their experiences, insights, and concerns. The exchange of ideas and perspectives was instrumental in facilitating a deeper understanding of the importance of gender equality in TRHDP.