Ethel Falu Sigimanu, Gender Equality Advocate, Solomon Islands
“We must continue to fight the fight. To do nothing is the same thing as condoning the injustices women and girls continue to face.”
Ethel Falu Sigimanu has been instrumental in advancing gender equality and women’s human rights in the Solomon Islands. She is one of the longest-serving permanent secretaries in the Solomon Islands government, having spent the past 10 years with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.
During this time, she has taken leadership and has been influential in the work towards the passage of the Family Protection Act 2014 which is the first domestic violence legislation in Solomon Islands; the Child and Family Welfare Act 2017; developed and reviewed National Gender Equality and Women’s Development policies and conducted a study on Family Health and Safety. Ms Sigimanu also serves on a number of national and regional boards particularly in the areas of gender and human rights.
“There will always be systemic and structural barriers to advancement of women’s human rights in all areas of their lives and at all levels in our society,” says Ms Sigimanu, adding: “We must continue to fight the fight. To do nothing is the same thing as condoning the injustices women and girls continue to face. With determination we will never fail and through our collective efforts with a shared vision, we will get there step by step as we have seen.”