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Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands is a country of over 1,000 islands, situated northeast of Australia in the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific as a region has the lowest rates of women’s political participation in the world. Solomon Islands is no exception. In total only three women have ever been elected to the Solomon Islands Parliament. Women candidates face many barriers, including a lack of money and support. A patriarchal culture often prevents women from breaking into politics in the first place.

The country’s geographic spread means that many women live in rural, isolated communities. For some women, a journey to the nearest bank takes eight hours and involves travel by boat, truck and ferry. Not surprisingly, 85% of women in Solomon Islands do not have access to a bank account.

Lack of a safe place to store savings hits women particularly hard. Women are at greater risk of violence from people looking to steal their savings. They also bear most of the responsibility of providing for family needs, which means they need to save and plan.

There are few opportunities for formal employment in rural Solomon Islands. One third of the country’s income and 70% of all household income comes from subsistence farming. Environmental conservation is vital to the health of everyone in Solomon Islands. Yet women are often excluded from local decision-making about land and other natural resources.

IWDA works with local partners to promote power and money for women from Solomon Islands.

A few achievements of IWDA and our partners last year

1,500

women took part in savings clubs to control their own money

93

women attended leadership workshops to become savings club leaders

SBD$1,000,000

saved by women in savings clubs supported by West ‘Are’Are Rokotanikeni

Women savings club leaders standing in a row with backs to camera.
Savings club leaders in Solomon Islands. Photo: Jo Brislane

Solomon Islands facts

560,000

population of Solomon Islands

1978

independence from United Kingdom

1,000+

number of islands in Solomon Islands

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