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Soloman Islands

Population size: 

690,167 [1]

2021: 703, 993

49.2% female


Education:

2018: Gross rate for girls enrolled in secondary school is only 27% (could be explained by fact that schooling is not compulsory.

2019: Only 7% of girls complete secondary school education. Poverty, gender discrimination, school fees and early pregnancy are leading barriers.

44% of girls drop out due to pregnancy


Economy:

Women are mostly excluded from participating in the formal economy due to reliance on agriculture and traditional beliefs about women’s roles

When part of the workforce, they are overrepresented in poorly paid, non- skilled labour.

60.4% of females are in employment, compared to 72.2% of men

Women make up less than 30% of the public service and just 6% of senior public service positions.


Parliament:

February 2021: Only 8% of seats in parliament are held by women.

Since independence, there has only been four women MPs

The Political Parties Integrity Act in 2014 introduced a number of reforms aimed at strengthening political parties. A core reform was a ‘special measures grant’ to any political party which supported the election of a woman into parliament.


Domestic Violence:

Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: 64% [2]

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months:  42% [3]

1,248 people, a third of all employees, from nine companies, participated in a survey on ‘How problems at home affect employees at work’. This survey was conducted in 2018. One in three of surveyed employees experienced domestic or sexual violence in the 12 months preceding the survey. Overall, 44 percent of respondents (49 percent of women and 38 percent of men) reported that they had experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. In addition, 6 percent of participants who did not report experiencing violence themselves, said that they had close family that had. For many who reported violence, occurrence is regular—a quarter said violence occurs at least once monthly.


31 percent of participants said they believed that domestic and sexual violence is sometimes acceptable, with men more likely to have this opinion than women (36 percent and 27 percent respectively).


Eighty-four percent of participants recognised the potential.

(13 percent) or actual (71 percent) effects of domestic and sexual violence on workplaces. Of those who reported experiencing domestic or sexual violence, 81 percent reported at least one workplace impact. This represents 35 percent — or one in three — of all employees who participated in the survey.


Sixty-three percent of women and 55 percent of men who experienced domestic or sexual violence reported that at times this causes them to feel anxious, depressed, or ashamed when they are at work; 34 percent reported feeling unsafe at work at least 'sometimes’ (men, 32 percent; women, 35 percent); and one in five said that they are currently working in the same workplace as the person who was or is abusive. [4]


2018: 28.1% of women aged between 15 and 49 had reported that they had been subject to physical and/ or sexual violence by current/ former intimate partners.

38% of women report their first sexual experience as having been forced.

63% of men believe that it is acceptable to hit women in certain circumstances.

2 out of 3 women have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner.

No research on male victims or other gender identities.


Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.


Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

Solomon Islands has recently made a commitment to end violence against women and girls. Solomon Islands Family Protection Act 2016 was the first legislative move to explicitly outlaw domestic violence, however, the inclusion of customary laws into civil/criminal law massively complicates matters. 

Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of family and sexual violence in the world – 64%. There is still substantial resistance to gender equality, it being seen as ‘Western’ or ‘foreign’. Much of the investment in programmes tackling gender-based violence comes from Australia and there is a push to make all aid consequent to evidencing the government’s commitment to ending gender-based violence. 


2019 saw the launch of the new Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls. Dr Cedric Alependava, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) said: “The Solomon Islands Government is pleased to welcome this programme and to work together with the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls.” “We believe that being a priority country in this Pacific Partnership reflects the national commitments and groundswell of support by the Solomon Islands government and stakeholders to make our nation a place where sexual and domestic violence is not tolerated and is rejected by everyone in our communities.”


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