On November 25, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, arrived in Vanuatu to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Ms Stott Despoja was in Vanuatu for two days and met a range of people to discuss issues facing women and girls in Vanuatu, including staff from the Vanuatu Women’s Centre, police officers, government officials, journalists and youth representatives.

During her visit, Ms Stott Despoja participated in events marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. She also visited the Alternative Communities Trade in Vanuatu (ACTIV) Association to meet handicraft producers and see first-hand the wide range of high quality products made by women and men across Vanuatu, including carvings, jewellery, bags and chocolate.

She met members of Vanuatu sporting organisations, including the mamas from Vanuatu’s own Women’s Island Cricket program, to hear about positive outcomes for women and girls through sports programs supported by the Australian Government.

Before she left, Ms Stott Despoja also had an opportunity to see part of a Wan Smolbag production – No Runwe Long Luv – and talk about respectful relationships with young women.

“I’m thrilled to be back in Vanuatu. Last time I was here, in 2013, I met many of Vanuatu’s inspiring leaders, both women and men, who have devoted themselves to improving the lives of women and girls.

“It’s been great to catch up with them again during this visit and to see first-hand the work Australia has been doing to support their efforts,” said Ms Stott Despoja.

“We all have a role to play, especially men and boys, to ensure women and girls are free from all forms of violence so they can enjoy a peaceful and productive life,” she added. READ MORE