VISITING faith and gender specialist, Maclean Dlodlo, has expressed concern at the level of gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands.
Dlodlo, a Zimbabwean based in South Africa has invited World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI) to facilitate its three-day Churches and Partners Conference, which ends today.
Speaking at the Conference opening at Mendana Hotel on Monday, Dlodlo said violence against women and girls is generally committed by perpetrators not known or relate to the victim.
However, he said in the Solomon Islands, where two out of every three women and girls have experienced violence at the hands of those they know or are related to, it represents a “serious concern”.
Women should find protection with friends and family, not abuse, Dlodlo told particiapants.
The Church and Partners Conference was organised as part of World Vision’s Channels of Hope for Gender program, which aims to reduce gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands.
WVSI country director Janes Ginting said he is encouraged to see the number of people representing churches, government ministries, partners and stakeholders that have attended the conference over the past three days.
Ginting said Channels of Hope has been shown positive results on the ground and World Vision is keen to broaden the scope of the approach beyond its program areas.
“We see transformative changes. Women feel more empowered, men more open to talk about gender-based violence, faith leaders share gender-based violence messages in their sermons more frequently, survivors of gender-based violence know where to go to.
“We want to contribute to the successful implementation of the Family Protection Act 2016.
“We need to aim big to reduce gender-based violence to zero in the Solomon Islands. Each of us has a role to make this happen,” Ginting said.
The Australian Government supports WVSI’s Channels of Hope program.
Source: WVSI Press