The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and Sista have launched an essay competition for secondary students, year 7 and above. The deadline has been extended until Friday 13th September.


The proposed essay question is: How would you address violence against women and girls on public transport? Answers must be 500 words or less, and the winner of the most meaningful essay response will receive 20 000 VUV cash from the National Bank of Vanuatu.

The essay competition is an opportunity for secondary students from year 7 and above to think critically about gender equality. We encourage you to think outside the box and be bold with your response! How do you wish violence against women and girls on public transport would be addressed? What steps would you take and who you need to talk to? Here are a prompt questions for you to consider as you develop your essay. Think big!

  1. Is it safe for women to travel alone on public transport? Why/Why not?
  2. What is the most common form of violence that she would experience on public transport? And who is most likely to be the perpetrator?
  3. What can a woman do to prevent violence on public transport? What can a man do to prevent violence on public transport? Do they have to take different steps? Who has a heavier burden to protect themselves and is it fair?
  4. What do the police say to the public when a woman is a victim of violence on public transport?
  5. Who is the message for? Are they policing women’s behaviour or men’s behaviour?
  6. What does the media (TV, newspaper, radio) say when a woman is a victim of violence on public transport?
  7. What do people on social media say?
  8. Do you think it’s fair to tell women to not travel alone and to not travel at night? Does it restrict her freedom of movement?
  9. How do you think it affects a woman’s life by being cautious of taking public transport? Does it affect her job? Her education?
  10. What should a woman do if she is a victim of violence on public transport?
  11. What institute is in charge of the public transport system? Do they have a referral system?
  12. What kind of training do public transport drivers undertake? Are there are any certifications they need to take to become public transport drivers?
  13. How many public transport drivers are there? Are there any female public transport drivers?
  14. Do you think women would feel safer with female drivers? Why/why not?


How to enter the competition

Answers must be 500 words or less and can be written in hard or soft copy. If written in soft copy, answers can be sent by email to MoET’s Gender Officer at and to Sista’s editor at If written in hard copy, answers must be sent to the Principle Education Officer of the student’s province.


Torba Province Principle Education Officer

Dudley Butakol



PO Box 13

Sola, Vanualava


Sanma Province Principle Education Officer

Thompson Wari



PO Box 250

Luganville, Santo


Shefa Provincial Principle Education Officer

Johnathan Yonah


PMB 9027

Port Vila ,Efate


Tafea Province Principle Education Officer

Thomas Butu



PO Box 25

Isangel, Tanna


Malampa Province Principle Education Officer

Renjo Samuel



PO Box 49



Penama Provincial Principle Education

John Wilkins Tari


PO Box 15

Saratamata, Longana

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