Women in Port Vila have called onto the government to declare March 8 an official public holiday in Vanuatu.

March 8 every year is International Women’s Day (IWD).

The women were appealing to the Minister of Justice and Community Services (MJCS), Ronald Warsal, during IWD in Port Vila.

IWD is an official public holiday in some countries around the world such as Cuba and Vietnam, it was revealed. It is celebrated equivalent to mother’s day and valentines where men give flowers and gifts to women in their lives and children to their mothers in recognition of their role play at home and in society.

In China, March 8 is a public holiday for only women. During that day, women receive special treats. For example, female employees gets half-day holiday.

In Vanuatu the day is not a public holiday but it is widely observed by non-government organisations and the government.

Responding to the the appeal, Minister Warsal asks that all women, women leaders and women organisations work collaboratively with the Department of Women’s Affairs to follow process to make their bid into a policy.

Through the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1995, the government promises to recognize the role and value of women, uphold their rights and combat discrimination, said Minister Warsal.

The coordinator of the Pro-Active Mamas (PAM), Jenny Ligo, said women should get a recognition just like chiefs get on March 5 every year.

PAM was the organizer of this year’s IWD held on Wednesday this week.

Mrs Ligo told Minister Warsal “We have called onto the government for May 15 (women’s day) to be public holiday but never successful.” READ MORE