Story:

Amplifying the voices of women

When women take leadership roles in WASH, communities get a different and wider perspective, especially when it comes to topics such as menstruation.

In the community of Monga, in Solomon Islands’ Guadalcanal Province, the Live & Learn New Times New Targets team conducted gender WASH activities that aim to break down barriers and highlight the contributions women can make to WASH. During this process, the community recognised the passion of community member Bernadeth Mavo, and chose her to lead the WASH committee.

Reflecting on her newfound responsibility, Bernadeth said, ‘We have a strong culture where women are often quiet during meetings. I was thrilled to take on the role of WASH Leader in the Monga community, knowing it was an opportunity to uplift and amplify the voices of women.’

Under Bernadeth’s leadership, the committee encouraged women to share their concerns, and the committee became a safe place to discuss issues such as menstruation.

Bernadeth’s husband stood beside her with unwavering support, recognising the importance of empowering women in community leadership. With his encouragement, Bernadeth became a role model for other women in Monga, and, in turn, through mentorship and support, other women were inspired to overcome societal barriers and contribute to the community’s development.

The New Times New Targets (NTNT) project is an Australian aid initiative implemented by Plan International Australia in partnership with Live & Learn Environmental Education on behalf of the Australian Government through the Water for Women Fund.