On 4 December 2018, a four day training was organised in Rock Haven Inn, Honiara. The training has been attended by 35 women leaders from all provinces of Solomon Islands and included 24 aspiring candidates for national election. These participants are involved with different civil society and community based organisations. The training was interactive through plenary sessions, small group discussions, experience sharing, panel groups.
The participants improved their knowledge on issues related to democracy, leadership, electoral legal framework, gender and women empowerment. Participants also had the opportunity to develop exercises to work on other practical skills such as public speaking and confidence building. This capacity building initiative is part of a three-phase action plan developed by the SECSIP to improve the leadership and political participation of women in Solomon Islands. It was preceded by a four-day National Women’s Leadership Workshop held in August 2018 which has been attended by national and international women leaders from the Pacific region including former PM of New Zealand, Ms. Helen Clark, Dame Carol Kidu from PNG and Hon. Salote Rarodro from Fiji.
An evaluation of this training revealed an average 10% knowledge enhancement by comparing the exam results between pre and post-training period.
Since 2013, UNDP Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP) has contributed to the inclusiveness and integrity of the electoral process. The project supported the successful introduction of a new comprehensive biometric voter registration system which resulted in a more inclusive and reliable voters´ roll and continues to provide assistance in terms of its updating and sustainability. The project also supports the review of the electoral legal framework with a view to promote the strengthening of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) and assist to the fulfilment of its mandate. It also strengthens the capacity of the SIEC to advocate for women’s political participation and supports the national authorities and civil society organisations in raising awareness of the population regarding voting and civic engagement. SECSIP is generously funded by the European Union, the government of Australia and UNDP.