Solomons Women Happy With Resource Management Consultations

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Women’s power of land entitlements often ignored in the past

By Lesley Sanga

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 17, 2016) – Women of Tandai land owning groups in Guadalcanal say that they are happy with a new approach of consultation done between Iron Bottom Sound (IBS) management and the tribal leaders.

This came after the IBS management has invited them (women) to come along with their male tribal leaders to witness the handing over of the cultural Chupu to officially open up a consultation meeting held at the IBS area.

This was to talk over the piece of seafront area that supposes to be looked after by the IBS management but surprisingly given to another different investor.

Doreen Maeka said that as women from those responsible tribes they were happy with such approach adding it showed respect towards them.

"Many years ago, investors and other individuals have used up our land areas but never recognized the power of women to involve them in such discussion," Mrs Maeka said.

"Today, we are grateful that you have recognized the power of women and invited us to join our males in this cultural ceremony," she added.

She said that in the culture of Guadalcanal, women have the power of land entitlements but this had been ignored many times.

"Today, history is set for Tandai tribal Land Association, Tandai Trustees and Tandai house of chiefs who are gathered here to see the importance of women to involve in such land talks.

"We are happy with this new approach and that's the way forward for many tribes in this province," she said.

Many women attended the cultural ceremony to open up a dialogue between Tandai land owning groups and Iron Bottle Sound management that later was held on that day.

The ceremony was organized by IBS management and coordinated by Guadalcanal provincial assembly and was attended by responsible land owning tribes within Tandai and the national government.

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