UN-WOMEN-VANUATUTuesday 8 August 2017 (Vanuatu) – “This is the first time for us to use a computer,” said Eslin Solomon, President of Vanuatu’s Silae Vanua Market Vendor Association (MVA).

“It’s really hard, however, we are trying our best to learn how to use the computer and I feel like I can do this,” Eslin said.

The MVA executive members usually hand-write official letters and document market records, but will now be able to use their new computer skills – and office equipment funded by the Australian High Commission Vanuatu’s Direct Aid Program – to more professionally administer the MVA.

To efficiently use the office equipment, the executive members from Silae Vanua’s MVA have just started six-months of computer lessons with UN Women’s Vanuatu Markets for Change (M4C) team.

“Providing women market vendors with leadership and advanced administrative skills is essential to ensure their continued economic advancement, and the growth of the marketplaces as community-based business hubs,” said Betty Zinner-Toa, Country Programme Coordinator for UN Women.

UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.  A UN Women project, M4C is principally funded by the Australian Government.