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Friday, February 09, 2007

New women's legal association convene workshop for women in Honiara

by Jeremy Miller

A new women’s legal group has conducted its first workshop on legal issues affecting women in the Solomon Islands in Honiara on Tuesday.

A total of thirteen participants from organisations including Christian Care Centre, the Family Support Centre, The Ministry of Health Social Welfare Division, Oxfam and the Mothers Union learnt about the law on rape, abuse, divorce, maintenance and police powers, and legal terms.

Sister Doreen of the Christian Care Centre identified the need for the Centre’s staff to understand the legal process and the laws affecting the women they assist. "A greater understanding of the law will enable the women who attended the workshop to better assist the women we support everyday".

The Women in Law Association of Solomon Islands was formed from an initiative by a former government officer, Mrs Jean Gordon, in November last year. The newly formed Association has women members from the government, private and non-government sector, and will be extended to women law graduates.

The aims of the Association include supporting the legal and human rights of women, working in partnership with other legal and non-legal professionals and groups to advance, promote and protect women’s interests, and working towards the advancement of women studying and practicing law.

Association members who made presentations at the workshop were Mrs Titiulu, Mrs Habru, Mrs Fa’asau Pasikala, Mrs Kingmele, Ms Munamua and Mrs Lidimani.

They said they were very pleased with how the workshop had been received and that they were looking forward to working with other groups in the future to help further women’s interests in Solomon Islands.

The workshop was sponsored by the RAMSI Law and Justice Program.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Christine Fowler from RAMSI said that the RAMSI Law and Justice Program is working closely with the Solomon Islands Government to create a safe and secure society for all Solomon Islanders.

“By supporting community organisations like Women in Law Association of Solomon Islands, the RAMSI Law and Justice Program is helping to increase access to justice for women by raising awareness about laws that can affect them”, she said.

Source: RAMSI

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