The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress. Although significant progress has been made, we are still over 200 years away from reaching gender parity. Even though globally women’s political representation continues to rise, there are still four male political representatives for every one female representative. In Pacific Island Countries, there are 19 men elected for every one woman.
International development funders and local stakeholders have made concerted efforts to improve women’s political representation. Under Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Empowerment and Equality for all Women and Girls, indicator 5.5.1 reiterates the importance that the global community has placed on increasing the proportion of national parliamentary seats held by women. The recently released UN Pacific Strategy’s approach to gender equality highlights the importance of women’s political participation in the region. Through these initiatives and associated projects, the international development community is working to address the complex socio-economic and cultural barriers to women’s political participation in the Pacific.
Sustineo is proud to be working on an important research project for the United Nations Development Programme on the women’s leadership and political participation in the Solomon Islands. This project is part of the Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP) which is implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission. It receives financial support from UNDP, the Australian Government and the European Union.
Sustineo has long advocated for the need for a robust evidence base to promote successful interventions and for a long-term strengths-based approach to the role of women’s leadership in the Pacific. We are looking forward to the opportunity to #PressForProgress in these areas by helping to shape program and policy design for electoral cycle improvement work by the UNDP, the Government of the Solomon Islands and other development partners.
Watch this space for news of the project!