The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region.

It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial. 

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Julia Marango, Gender and Program Quality Senior Officer, Care

Julia Marango, Gender and Program Quality Senior Officer, Care

For women in the rural areas, I believe the biggest barrier to their economic empowerment is a lack of literacy skills and access to information. Many of them have not received a good education, so they are unable to read and write properly.

Sometimes if a woman feels like she hasn’t got good literacy skills, it stops her from finding new information because it’s difficult for her to understand. Then she loses her self-confidence and cannot push herself to believe, ‘I can do this.’

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Julia participating in the side event ‘Women’s Peace and Security’

The economic empowerment of women should be a priority if we want to see the sustainable development of our country. Women are good managers – they know how to manage a household and a family. Even if a man isn’t part of the home and the woman is a single mother, she will know how to provide everything that the house needs.

If we want to see real change, then it starts with the women. By empowering and building the capacity of women, we can build up our communities and then we can build up Vanuatu as a whole.


Julia Marango is the Gender and Program Quality Senior Officer at Care International in Vanuatu and was sponsored by Care to attend the Triennial