Women Against Crime and Corruption (WACC) are alarmed that as Vanuatu is a signatory to the CEDAW, CRC and Convention on Human Rights Declaration in the name of the population of Vanuatu and yet, the nation’s leaders do not seem to uphold the principles that they signed.

“Continuous discrimination, disrespect, ill-treatment and violence against women and girls have continued. What does the 39{sup}th{/sup}Anniversary for Women and Girls mean?” WACC President and Spokesperson, Jenny Ligo asks.

She makes the call after reports appeared in the Daily Post of a female employee of Au Bon Marche who was reported to have jumped off a moving bus at night when the driver allegedly failed to stop.

“This continuous attitude toward vulnerable women and girls must stop. The authorities from the Port Vila Municipal Council, Internal Affairs, Rates and Taxes, PVMC Councilors, and Members of Parliament for Port Vila Constituency who are responsible for the Orders and Protection and Safety of the population of Port Vila, must all act. There’s a need to regulate the public transport especially the Bus Transport System particularly to screen all forms of behaviour of the bus drivers towards their customers, the conditions of the buses, health and hygiene and cleanness of the buses”, she says.

“We want to see the MPs come out to speak up in their home town when a problem or incident like this arises. They should do their job to check the public transports for their constituents’ safety. Their priority should be to look at the safety of their people who voted them to power. You start to wonder why women should be voting for the same Members of Parliament if they do not care about the welfare and safety of their people?

“WACC must challenge the Au Bon Marche Supermarket chain to provide transport for their employees who finish work late at night whose families continue to be responsible for the company’s increasing wealth.”

In addition, she suggests that it is also the duty of Commissioner of Labour to ensure the protection and welfare of employees if their employers do not provide safe working conditions particularly their safety to return to their homes at night since this is not the first time that a passenger has been forced to risk leaping off a moving vehicle.

With the rapid population growth of Port Vila as a potential tourism destination and its increasing use of new technology to promote the country in direct foreign developments, she concludes, “We also call for the setting up of Vanuatu Consumer Rights Office urgently”.