Young Women's Officer, Division of Youth, Women and Sports, Honiara City Council
My name is Janet Oge, and I am from Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands. I come from a family of five siblings (including myself) and have one sister and three brothers.
My early life from childhood through to high school was good and as a youth I worked as a volunteer Peer Educator at Save the Children under the Youth Project. I was previously married, and have five children: three boys and two girls.
My interests include advocating for women, youth and children, community development, caring for older people, meeting new people, culture sharing, cooking, gardening, travelling, reading, playing volleyball and learning new things.
What is your current position in the Council?I currently work as the Women’s Development Officer which comes under the Division of Youth, Women and Sports at Honiara City Council. As part of my work I disseminate factual information to the community on key issues relating to better life choices with specific attention made to the needs of women and girls. I also help to identify and advocate on opportunities where women and girls can be included. I am also responsible for organizing annual women and children’s events on behalf of the council such as International Women’s Day, International Children’s Day and Women’s week.
Have you held any other positions? Yes, these include:
- Part of the Development of Youth Advisory Committee for Honiara City Council March, April-May 2014.
- Acting Head of the Youth, Women and Sports Division while our Head of Division was on leave.
- Member for various committees within HCC: HCC Disaster member, HCC Housing member, HCC technical working group member and HCC Communication Bureau committee member.
How long have you been at the Council? 7 years
Have you had the opportunity to take up a leadership role in your work? Yes, I was Acting Head for the Division of Youth, Women and Sports while my boss was on leave. I was also Chairperson for the International Women’s Day Committee as well as the International Children’s Day Committee.
I am currently on secondment with the Port Vila Municipal Council in Vanuatu for six months studying Youth Work with the Australia Pacific Technical College.
What challenges have you faced/do you face in your work?
There are a number of challenges, some of these include:
- Budgets not being able to meet program and activities
- Human resources
- Transportation, a lot of the time I use my own money to travel from place to place.
What do you enjoy about working in Honiara City Council?
I have a passion to increase the level of participation of all women and girls in Honiara City and to provide them more opportunities especially to be included in decision making roles, skills and training and to generally support their needs as equal members of society. I feel that working within HCC helps me in achieving these goals that I have set. I intend to empower women, girls and children of all ages in taking up leading roles in society.
What do you think HCC can do to help improve the lives of women and girls?
- Ensuring market spaces are safer and cleaner for women and girls to showcase their skills and sell their products.
- Have reserved seats for women in council wards
- Create more job opportunities for women
- Provide small grants that might assist women
- Create a life skills institution
- Conduct advocacy, training and workshops
- Create more opportunities for networks and partnerships
Why do you think women and girls need to participate in local decision making? Women and girls know firsthand what is happening inside and outside of the home, and can contribute to decision making through relaying their experiences within the home and community. They are full of skills, knowledge and understanding that are often taken for granted and never fully utilized.