Ethel Sigimanu

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 17 years as permanent secretary in various government ministries 10 of which were as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs. During this time, she took leadership and was greatly influential in the work towards the passage of the Family Protection Act 2014, which is the first domestic violence legislation in Solomon Islands, as well as the Child and Family Welfare Act 2017. She also developed and reviewed National Gender Equality and Women’s Development policies and conducted a study on Family Health and Safety. In recognition of her courage, strength and leadership in the areas of human rights, social justice, women’s equality and advancement, Ms Sigimanu received the Women of Courage Award in 2019 by the US Secretary of State. Ms Sigimanu also serves on a number of national and regional boards, particularly in the areas of gender and human rights and other areas of the social services sector. Ms Sigimanu is now serving as a freelance consultant, focusing on areas that she is passionate about, particularly the advancement of gender equality and recognition of human rights.