“This Award really stands for justice, human rights, constitutional reform and the rule of law, and the people who get this award are honoured because many times they stood up for their families even when it meant risk personally, which is why we are here; by honouring Florence today we are honouring all women of Vanuatu who have struggled and overcome unbelievable hardships and discrimination in their lives”.
The US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomons and Vanuatu, made the statement yesterday before awarding Florence Lengkon with her US Woman of Courage Award at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre Complex yesterday.
Florence Lengkon was abducted by taxi and bus drivers who assaulted her and left her with severe injuries to her face.
The drivers had not been happy with negative comments she had posted about them in the social media.
Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray reiterated, “Florence was abducted and severely beaten but she was not afraid but stood up against violence at a march against violence by over a thousand people”.
The first march of its kind on parliament made it clear that “enough is enough” to assault on women and girls, rape, kill and discriminate against women, prompted political leaders to immediately take note of their petition.
“Florence, this represents the voice we all want to hear, the voice will continue to support in years to come and honour you and say ‘enough is enough’, stop the violence”, the Ambassador said and presented her the ‘Woman of the Year Award 2018’.
An emotional awardee, Florence said, “I would like to encourage women of Vanuatu who have experienced similar treatment like I have, that there are women out there who care, people you can turn to for advice.
She read an excerpt from Daily Post which reported on her assault extensively.
In fact, the drivers who assaulted her were prosecuted and jailed for their crime.
She called on women and girls to speak up saying, “Everyone has a right to speak their mind openly, that enough is enough”.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST