The Tina River Hydropower Development (TRHPD) project continues to work with women and their communities and on executing the Gender Action Plan (GAP) which promotes equal opportunities for both women and men to participate and receive project benefits. This persistent effort continues for women in particular to be involved with and be positively impacted by this nation building project.
The Gender Action Plan (GAP), which was put together back in 2017 with a support of the World Bank, acts as the Project’s roadmap to ensures activities implemented during the development include a gender perspective and promotes the considerations of gender issues. This focus of the GAP mirrors the localized approach adopted by the Project towards impact mitigation and benefit sharing.
Solomon Islands Government has enacted a number of national level commitments on gender and TRHDP is seen as an important opportunity to promote gender mainstreaming in the Energy Sector. With a dedicated female officer working as the Gender Focal Point and Community Liaison Officer (GFP-CLO), women in communities importantly have direct access to voice concerns and promote ideas. This is key to ensuring gender equality in opportunities for education, skill building, training and employment though the Tina development.
Through intensive fieldwork, the following findings represent combined observations and analysis from interviews, focus groups and community visits. These are organized under the following thematic areas, which form the basis for recommendations made in the GAP:
Gender Division of Labour
Access to and control over land and productive resources
Needs, Priorities, Challenges and Perspective
Participation and Decision Making
Access to Project Benefits
Organizational capacity for gender mainstreaming
Since the activation of the GAP stream in 2017, inroads have been made and achievements realized. Monthly consultative forums (MCFs) occur with a focus on building relationship with the community people and importantly, to create space for women and girls to be heard. Importantly, it is the first time since the start of TRHDP, where such liaisons have occurred separately from the men by the GFP-CLO. The aim of the MCFs is to create an environment and safe space to empower to mentor, inspire women and young girls through networking, collaboration and support.
The establishment of the Gender Steering Committee (GSC), led by TRHDP, with the purpose of to ensure accountability for the Gender Acton Plan (GAP) and full national ownership of its implementation, is key to the success of the implementation of the plan.
What will happen next?
- Reducing the burden of work on women and improving their livelihood opportunities through access to resources and services
- Ensuring gender equality in opportunities for education, skill building, training and employment
- Promoting the voice, participation and empowerment of women, and reducing opportunities for elite capture of funds
- Increasing organizational capacity for gender mainstreaming
While the Project is being implemented against a backdrop of existing gender inequalities and social inclusion, TRHDP has the opportunity to design and monitor measures that will not exacerbate existing challenges faced by women but aim to promote their participation and well-being.