Solomon Islands is represented by the Pauline Soaki, Director Women in the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, and Nashley Vozoto, Gender Based Violence Coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Medical Service at the “United Nations Joint Global Programme on the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence: Global Workshop on Sharing of Key Initial Lessons Learned and Way Forward in Istanbul, Turkey from 6 – 8 February.
The workshop was to further strengthening multi-sectoral response for women and girls who have experienced violence in pilot countries. Solomon Island is one of the selected 10 pilot countries, which also include Kiribati in the Pacific. The workshop aims to establish a community of practice that will enable the sharing of good practices, as well as bottlenecks and challenges identified by the countries during the first phase of implementation.
The Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence provides guidance on how to develop and implement the global norms on multi-sectoral services and responses, with a focus on the health, police, justice and social services as well as coordination of these services for victims and survivors of violence.
Solomon Islands launched the package in September 2017, which Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Hon. Freda Soriacomua made emphasis on government’s commitment as demonstrated in the National Development Strategy 2016 – 2035 and the Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls Policy 2016 – 2020 that have set its alignment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls, as well as the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls and harmful practices. Hon Soriacomua said that “Women’s lack of access to services for safety and protection is a serious form of discrimination. Victims and survivors of violence need these essential services, because they are essential: health services, effective police and justice responses, emergency hotlines, safe accommodation and shelter, and counselling”.
The Essential Service Packages covers work on strengthening of the SAFENET Referral System and pathways, the development of the national counselling framework and regulation, and support for Justice and Police sector assessment on women’s access to justice within the context of FPA. The Family Support Centre also received substantive support for a case management system and the sealkth sector on support for review and validation of Health Response to GBV Pilot sites rollout of GBV Health Care Service Package including the Training Manual and at SOP/Guideline validation.
UN Women Country Essential Service Package Coordinator Doris Puiahi, also attending the workshop articulated that the overall objective of the workshop is to strengthen the capacities of professionals from key sectors to enhance the effectiveness of multi-sectorial response to VAWG, to exchange good practices and lessons learned and identify key ways forward.
Director Women said that for this particular project, Solomon Islands made good progress in implementation, and although there are still bottlenecks in our institutional systems and resources mobilisation, and especially provincial outreach and services, the work towards eliminating violence against women and gender based violence is at the forefront of the government’s commitment and is a priority.
Already the Ministry of Health, with the support from UNFPA and WHO have rollout in provinces and Honiara training for health response treatment guideline, and review and validation of Health Response to GB Pilot rollout of GBV Health Care Service Package including the Training Manual and at SOP/Guideline validation, said Nashley Vozoto, GBV Coordinator of MHMS.
The United Nations (UN) Joint Global Programme on Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, is a partnership between UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC, initiated in 2013 to address the gap between agreements made at the international level for responding to violence against women and girls (VAWG), including the 2013 CSW 57 Agreed Conclusions, which stress the need to provide access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence and the Sustainable Development Goals.