Perhaps the greatest challenge and barrier I have found to creating change in Solomon Islands is ourselves. We seek change to redress the imbalances and injustices holding back our full participation as both a human being and a citizen; we seek change to our legislation and to our accountability institutions; we seek change to government-led development approaches; and we seek change to our status as women in our country.
But then, when it comes to crunch time, many back down and prefer to remain silent, while the handful who speak out are branded ‘foreigners’ trying to taint our country with a ‘white solution' and then you face risks of being threatened, intimidated and abused, either physically or verbally, and your family members will face these same risks.
Over the course of my career and in my search for solutions against these imbalances and injustices, I too have been threatened, intimidated and sworn at, and most often told of my 'rightful' place in society. I am blessed though with a mother and sisters who do not back down easily and who are formidable women in their own right. Through their ways, they have watched my back, counseled me when I wanted to quit, defended me when I could not, and protected my daughter from the ripple effects of my reporting.
I am blessed too with a husband who has, throughout the course of our relationship, made some immense changes and sacrifices to accommodate my profession and has defended me against some strong and discouraging criticism from his own family.
I view what I am up against sometimes with anxiety, sometimes with hope. Anxiety in that I wonder how long my family can hold on for, how much they can bear and whether what I am doing can match the great many sacrifices I am causing them to make … but hope in that the hostility and negativity I have received means that people in both high and low places listen to my reports on national radio and perhaps consider me a something of a threat to the silence Solomon Islanders have been maintaining over the past many decades in the face of political corruption and inequalities and the great many hardships, injustices and disparities these have caused for all of our lives and that of our children.
I came to Pulsewire in search for strength and hope, and in need of solutions to how I could better serve Solomon Islands women in my line of work. I have sought out other women’s stories, learnt of their solutions to the great many issues that are unique only to a woman’s life and journey, and drew strength and hope from these experiences. I stand encouraged and in awe of the many women and the courage, tenacity and audacity their stories demonstrate here. I stand inspired and most of all I now stand knowing for certain that I am not alone in this road I am on.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.