20 October 2016
From the High Commissioner's Desk - Honouring Rural Women
Last week I travelled across the Guadalcanal plain to visit the village of Komidi for International Rural Women’s Day. Travelling in convoy with a group of women from the Honiara Central Market Vendors’ Association, the journey took more than two hours in each direction.
So why was Komidi chosen as the venue for International Rural Women’s Day? It’s because dozens of rural women travel from places like Komidi into Honiara every day to sell their produce at the market. This was an opportunity for people like me, Premier Anthony Veke and others to show our appreciation for these women by travelling to their home. To see for ourselves just how long and difficult is the journey that they undertake each day to bring food from their gardens to our tables in Honiara.
And make no mistake, it’s a very long and difficult journey. We had to cross wide rivers and navigate muddy, rutted tracks. Even in a modern four wheel drive, it was a challenging and uncomfortable drive.
I can scarcely believe that so many rural women make that same journey every day, leaving home well before sunrise and returning each night. Next time you pick up some vegetables or fruit from the Central Market, spare a thought for the women who’ve grown that food and brought it all the way to Honiara. They’re the backbone of the nation. And they deserve our utmost respect.
Tomorrow morning my family and I will be joining over 5,000 others participants in the annual G’Day Solomon Islands Fun Run. We’ve had more registrations than ever this year. As in past years, the event will start at the Art Gallery and head down towards Tandai, with a 5km course for runners and a 3km course for walkers.
We’ll be offering some great prizes thanks to our generous sponsors, who are too numerous to list here. But I will give a special thanks to SolRice, which has donated T-shirts for the first 5,000 registered participants.
We’re hoping that this year’s Fun Run will be more fun than ever and will help encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. To all those readers who are planning to participate, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
And a reminder to those who live on the western side of town that the road from Bishops Dale to the Art Gallery Grounds will be closed from 8.00am to 9.00am. Police will be stationed along the route to ensure everyone is safe and that the traffic gets moving again as quickly as possible after the run.