The Vanuatu Government has reaffirmed its dedication to achieving political, economic, and social parity between genders, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution and the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) 2016-2030.

The nation ratified the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1995, and in 2021, it introduced the National Gender Equality Policy (NGEP) 2020-2030 along with six Provincial Gender Equality Action Plans 2020-2024. These initiatives outline prioritised activities designed for nationwide implementation.

The NGEP, spanning from 2020 to 2030, reflects Vanuatu’s commitment to fostering an inclusive society and gender equality. With a vision of “A safe, just, and secure society where everyone collaborates to nurture happy families, resilient communities, and a robust Vanuatu,” the policy’s overarching goal is to “Promote respect and equal rights, opportunities, and responsibilities for people of all genders, ages, and abilities in Vanuatu.”

To achieve this vision and goal, the NGEP focuses on five strategic areas: eradicating discrimination and violence against women and girls, enhancing women’s economic empowerment and skill development, promoting women’s leadership and political engagement, reinforcing the foundation for gender mainstreaming, and fostering gender-responsive, community-driven solutions for climate and disaster resilience.

The Technical Working Group responsible for Advancing Women’s Leadership and Political Participation within the NGEP comprises members from diverse sectors: Governance and Leadership Officer, Department of Women’s Affairs (DWA, permanent member), Vanuatu Electoral Office (permanent member), Port Vila City Council of Women, Port Vila City Council, Vanuatu National Youth Council, Sista, Oxfam, Balance of Power, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This group will annually create a work plan aligned with NGEP objectives and government reporting schedules.

Initiating this effort, the DWA convened an induction meeting at The Grand Hotel this week. This gathering aimed to set the course for the NGEP Technical Working Groups and to discuss forthcoming strategies.