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Solomon Islands Women Taking The Lead

Solomon Islands Women Taking the Lead

Solomon Islands Prison Service is fast developing a reputation as a Pacific leader in corrections.

A recent visit by international gender experts from Australia's international development agency, AusAID, noted that women working within the Solomon Islands Prison Service were very active in promoting policies so that men and women are treated equally.

"There are many benefits from having women involved in organizational decision-making and policy development", Sally Moyle, AusAID's gender adviser said.

The visit to Solomon Islands Prison Service, which was facilitated by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, talked about the positive impact that female officers could have on male offenders, particularly young males, who are in prison for domestic violence and/or other anger management/assault related issues.

Solomon Islands Prison Service staff asked questions about what is happening in other countries and whether there was any support that could be provided to women working in corrections.

The gender experts indicated that they would be happy to support the Solomon Islands Prison Service women extend their network to include other corrections services in the Pacific Islands. They said it was likely that because the women working with the Solomon Islands Prison Service were quite progressive and active, that they could probably take a lead role.

Prison's Commissioner Barry Apsey said it was a great capacity development opportunity for the Solomon Islands Prison Service women.

"Exposure to these types of discussions is enthralling for our staff and full of learning", Mr Apsey said.

Mr Apsey said this positive feedback was good for women to hear as they have been doing a lot of hard work in this area.

"They said Solomon Islands Prison Service women were the most active and cohesive group of women that they had come across in the Pacific Islands!"

The gender experts were in Solomon Islands to look at how RAMSI could measure its impact on men and women as part of reporting to Solomon Islands Government on the overall performance of the mission.


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