21 Jul 2009

Solomons campaign against violence gains momentum

1:13 pm on 21 July 2009

Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women is confident there is enough political will to combat gender-based violence.

New research has found that two thirds of Solomon Islands women, aged 15 to 49, have suffered some form of physical or sexual abuse.

The figures come a week after Cabinet dropped a proposal to reserve ten special seats for women in its 50-seat parliament.

The permanent secretary, Ethel Sigamanu, says the government needs to advocate much more extensively, and there needs to be law reform to combat violence against women..

"I suppose it depends on what you are advocating for. There are some things that don't sit well with people, and obviously gender based violence is a sensitive issue to the Solomon Islands society. But I am hopeful that we will get through with this one. I think there's enough willpower to push it ahead."

Ethel Sigamanu.