The Pacific: Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu & Samoa

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Women and girls across the Pacific are disproportionally affected by climate change and natural disasters. They are systematically kept away from preparedness and response processes, reflected in the low level of women’s representation in decision making.

Our work in the Solomon Islands, fiji, Vanuatu & Samoa

WPHF is supporting the development of an innovative and sustainable model of engaging women’s civil society organizations and mainstreaming gender into humanitarian response throughout the Pacific.

Our Partners

WPHF is proud to support the following women’s organizations across the Pacific:

  • Oxfam Solomon Islands on a project that is mainstreaming gender into humanitarian response.
  • Samoa Red Cross on a project working to increase participation of women in emergency response planning at the community level, institutionalize gender analysis into Samoa red cross staff, volunteers and planning, and to ensure long term capacity into Samoa red cross society that will last beyond project funding.
  • Save the children Vanuatu (with CARE Vanuatu) on a project to support other CSOs to strengthen their understanding of gender and protection, as well as their capacity to develop proposals on gender and protection through a mentoring scheme. The project will also train female disaster committee members at the local and provincial levels on gender and protection.
  • Medical Services Pacific (MSP) on a project to increase protection for women and girls, action human rights provisions, enable women’s participation and agency, improve health, social services and security and better enable the prosecution of sexual offenders in Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Background

The Solomon Islands experienced a period of violent open conflict and ethnic tensions between 1998-2003, which left over 200 dead and displaced more than 20,000 people.

Although law and order has largely been reestablished in the country, the root causes of conflict have not been sufficiently addressed due to weak governance systems, which are now being tested by the increase in disasters and a resulting competition for resources.

Climate change and natural disasters represent a particular and growing threat to peace and security in the region. Chronic cyclones and droughts, growing food insecurity, competition for resources and climate change induced population displacement are putting additional pressure on already economically weak communities in addition to fueling conflict.

The Issue

While there has been some progress in recent years in terms of the situation of women and girls in the Pacific, the region retains some of the worst indicators in the world in terms of overall gender equality. Violence against women is at pandemic levels with over three quarters of all women experiencing physical and sexual violence.

Women and girls in the Pacific are also disproportionally affected by climate change and natural disasters—an increasing and recurring reality for the region. They are systematically kept away from preparedness and response processes, reflected in the low level of women’s representation in decision making.

Complementarities & Partnerships

WPHF is promoting synergies between the Pacific region’s actors, including multilateral and bilateral entities, national ministries of women, and local civil society organizations.

While women’s organizations have been the most successful in the region in terms of networking, lobbying efforts and service delivery, they remain small, have limited capacity and suffer from a lack of core funding to sustain actions.

In the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa, the WPHF focuses on:

  1. Increasing participation of women in emergency response planning at the community level while institutionalizing gender analysis into Samoa Red Cross staff, volunteers and planning that will ensure long-term, sustainable capacity.
  2. Increasing protection for women and girls and supporting CSOs to strengthen their capacity to develop proposals on gender and protection through a mentoring scheme, including training female disaster committee members at the local and provincial levels on gender and protection.

Additional Funding Needs

$2,000,000 over 2 years 

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