Solomon Islands correctional facilities focus on gender issues

Every day In the Solomon Islands, people are referred to the Correctional Service facility (CSSI) for rehabilitation. Many are perpetrators of gender-based violence.

Now, in an effort to help their charges complete the rehabilitation process, staff at the CSSI have joined forces with World Vision to undertake gender training. The aim is to give CSSI officers an understanding of gender equality and issues of gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands. So far more than 20, mostly male CSSI officers have completed the three-day gender-training workshop.

The workshop, conducted under the Honiara Community Vision 4 Change (CV4C2) project, uses World Vision’s Channels of Hope (CoH) methodology to relate gender issues to the Bible.

Every day In the Solomon Islands, people are referred to the Correctional Service facility (CSSI) for rehabilitation. Many are perpetrators of gender-based violence.

Using passages in the Bible, CoH helps change men and women's perceptions and treatment toward each other, with the aim of addressing gender-based violence. The approach engages faith and community leaders, police officers, nurses and influential members of the communities to impart this change to those they deal with.

Clay Glens, CSSI's Deputy Acting Director for Programs and Industries, says he looks forward to applying what his has learnt in the workshop and hopes to spread the message of gender equality to his colleagues, families and communities.

One correctional officer at the Rover Facility, Gillian Havea, says since some inmates are perpetrators of violence against women, the correctional officers can now help change this behaviour through talking with inmates and sharing what they have learnt.

For Martha Alabae, a member of the CSSI Finance Department, the workshop was an “eye-opener”. Martha says the CoH training was easy to understand, when the content covered is related to the Bible. She believes that what she learnt will also be helpful when dealing with gender related issues in her personal life.

World Vision’s Honiara Area Manager, Julianne Oge, says she is pleased that the CSSI are working to address gender inequality and impressed with their participation in the CoH program.