Project Update: Getting Started Workshops for Vendors

Market vendors in Honiara Central Market, Solomon Islands. Photo Credit: Marni Gilbert/UN Women

Now that UN Women’s Markets for Change project has been officially launched in Solomon Islands and Fiji, the organisation has started rolling out its series of workshops for market vendors.

More than 200 market vendors have so far participated in the series of three “Getting Started” workshops, which are aimed at supporting them to work together, decide on their priorities, and take action together to make positive changes in their lives. One of the immediate benefits from the workshops has been the decision to form market vendors associations in Honiara and Auki, as well as to re-start associations at Suva and Nausori markets. These associations will help give market vendors a voice in market management, especially women, who have largely been absent from decision-making processes.

As part of the workshops, market vendors complete a “mapping” exercise of their local market, asking a wide variety of vendors what areas they thought needed urgent change in order to make the marketplace a better working environment. This was a completely new experience for the vendors and creates an advocacy based for the vendors associations.

The workshops were conducted in Honiara and Auki in Solomon Islands from April to June, and in Suva and Nausori in Fiji in April and May.