Bisinis belong olgeta mere long Honiara, Solomon Islands = Informal activities of the women of Honiara, Solomon Islands : 31.798 research project presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University
Solomon Islands' women in the Urban Informal Sector (UIS) seem to be invisible to the policy makers both from the perspective of their contribution and their needs. Although government programs aim at assisting small scale entrepreneurs, women as a group are not considered for any form of special assistance. The major reason for this is that most of the enterprises women engaged in, such as petty trading, food processing and livestock raising fall outside census of production survey. Often, these surveys are only conducted among enterprises employing ten or more workers. The small enterprises which are crucially important to the survival of women and their families are ignored.
Women have limited access to critical resources like education, land, technology and credit. Hence they are often excluded from employment in the formal sector. Theoretically, the UIS provides employment for the groups excluded from employment in the formal sector. The notion of the informal sector captures certain peculiarities, such as informality of business organization, use of rudimentary technology, lack of separation of consumption and production, ease of entry and exit, reliance on family labour and apprentices and small requirement for capital.
This study has been carried out on Solomon Islands women in UIS to view the nature and the extent of their activities today and to critically assess any measures in place to support those activities. The data from the fieldwork shows the importance of UIS activities to the food security of urban households, community development, the national economy and individual empowerment. The study reveals the link between UIS and the rural subsistence economy with reciprocal support of cash and food crops. It also reveals that there are women who could have worked in the formal sector actually chose to work in the UIS, for various reasons. The report concludes with a discussion of measures that could be taken to support UIS women in their activities.