Vanuatu’s golden girls have done it again!
Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko have won the Asian Volleyball Confederation Penghu Open.
This outstanding result has been possible through a number of people and companies, including Coach Shanon, Vball in Paradise, Titan FX, P&O Cruises Australia, Project Clothing Ace, Optics, Air Vanuatu
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
August 4, 2022
September 25, 2016
August 4, 2022
The Media Association blong Vanuatu (MAV) President, Lillyrose Welwel, has emphasised the importance of the public understanding the distinction between mainstream media and social media posts. Her comments came in response to a statement made by Member of Parliament (MP) Anatole Hymak during the First Ordinary Session of Parliament yesterday morning. MP Hymak had claimed in parliament that the press had published false information stating that he had signed the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister (PM) Ishmael Kalsakau. Ms Welwel clarified that, to her knowledge, no journalist registered under MAV had published such an article. She stressed the need for the public to differentiate between press, which refers to recognise mainstream media outlets and their trained journalists, and social media posts, which can be made by any citizen on personal accounts. “While MAV currently includes a recognized social media organisation, I do not believe that the press referred to by Mr Hymak was produced by any MAV-affiliated media organization, including the aforementioned social media organisation,” the MAV president stated. Ms Welwel urged MAV members to continue adhering to the MAV code of ethics to prevent situations like this from occurring. __________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
A Youth Representative, Melisa Vuti, has returned to Port Vila from Auckland, New Zealand, after attending a Conference on Good Governance, Climate Change, Anti-Corruption and Gender equality from May 11-12, 2023. Miss Vuti said she enjoyed mingling and learning from the “regional family” of participants for “a better Blue Pacific”. “The conference is a great achievement for Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV),” she stated. “The speakers were brilliant with their explanations and wide range of professional experiences. “In fact they are the Heroes and Champions in the related issues within their countries and the region through their presentations.” Following a Question and Answer Session, Miss Vuti said, “It is really an added value as our Pacific leaders empower young Pacific Island countries youth leaders and the students of the University of the South Pacific. “Through such platforms as it is strengthen the Pacific Island countries as we are one voice, one ocean one journey and one Pacific Island to rise up and take the challenge as one family with a shared vision in responding to climate Change and Corruption and Gender Equality. “We have the pleasure and honour to witness and participate in the launching of Pacifika Youth Advisory Committee.” In conclusion, Miss Vuti wishes to thank the following individuals and partners: UNDP, USP Student Association, UK Aid, New Zealand, USPSA Project Management Team, Guest Presenters and TIV. _____________________________________________________________- SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
The Australian High Commission, in partnership with the Lynch and Mataskelekele families, presented their annual International Women’s Day awards at a morning tea ceremony in Port Vila yesterday. The awards are one of the ways that Australia and Vanuatu are working together to promote gender equality and the rights of all women and girls. Australia is committed to empowering women and girls by creating economic opportunities, championing women in leadership and responding to and eliminating violence against women and girls. The Hanson Mataskelekele and Andy Lynch Awards provide an annual opportunity to highlight the significant contribution that women make across all sectors in Vanuatu. The Hanson Mataskelekele and Andy Lynch Awards provide an annual opportunity to highlight the significant contribution that women make across all sectors in Vanuatu. The 2023 Andy Lynch Award for Excellence in the Community Sector was presented to Ms Janet Sine, Lead Technical Coach at the Sanma Creative Industries Community Company (SCICC) supporting headwear producers across the province. Ms Sine is a champion of innovation and has displayed her commitment and support to rural women across SANMA Province to develop their handicraft skills and become economically empowered. She acknowledged the difficulties that women in leadership face, saying, “I dedicate this award to the women I work with, it’s not easy for women working in the community, but by working together we can overcome the challenges”. Brendan Lynch, son of the late Andy Lynch, emphasised that “our mother stood for equality and acceptance for all in the community”, congratulating Ms Sine for her work supporting others. Ms Glennys Vora Kaltapau was awarded the 2023 Hanson Mataskelekele Award for Women in Leadership for her quiet leadership of her team at the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), working tirelessly behind the scenes to assist the Vanuatu Government’s recovery of its Information Systems following the November 2022 ransomware cyber-attack. Ms Kaltapau encouraged more young women to enter the male-dominated field of ICT, “When I started my career, there were only two or three women working in the field. I hope that winning this award inspires a little girl somewhere to take up a career in ICT or, even better, cyber security one day,” she said. Barbara Sese, daughter of the late Hanson Mataskelekele, noted, “our mother would be the very proud of the fact that there is a woman managing a team in the OGCIO.” In her address, High Commissioner Heidi Bootle emphasised the importance of coming together to celebrate the achievements of women and girls in the country. “Both Australia and Vanuatu recognise that gender equality is needed for a stable, prosperous, and resilient society; it is cross-cutting and should be part of everything that we do,” she said. High Commissioner Bootle commended the two women for their great leadership, commitment, and passion for their work. This year fourteen other accomplished women from various backgrounds were nominated for the awards. A booklet containing the stories of this year’s nominees was also published in recognition of all their wonderful work in the community. ______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: Vanuatu Daily Post
Gloria Julia King is the only female member of Vanuatu’s parliament. Before she was elected last year, there hadn’t been a female MP in Vanuatu for 15 years. “It was very hard to make the decision to go into parliament because ni-Vanuatu people — in their mind, in their upbringing, in their surroundings — the leadership has always been the men,” she told the ABC’s The Pacific program. “If people tell me that I can’t do it, it lights a fire beneath me that makes me want to prove them wrong.” Despite already being a well-known community leader and businessperson, getting elected was not easy. “Going into this, I was aware of what I was up against,” Ms King said. “It’s a man’s world … even being there, I can almost feel that this is not my place.” Politics is a boys’ club The Pacific region, not counting Australia, New Zealand, and the French Territories, has some of the lowest levels of women’s political participation in the world. It’s a problem that has a profound impact on the lives of women, Theresa Meki, a Pacific research fellow at the Australian National University, explained. “We’ve never had over 30 per cent representation in parliaments all across the region,” she said. “I think right now we have 52 women members of parliament out of 614 positions of power across the region. “If we exclude New Zealand and Australia … we do very poorly. Even with them included in the Pacific region, we still do very poorly.” Parliament should be representative of the population, she said. “Women are 50 per cent of the population and it’s important for them to be in positions of leadership so that they can have a part in the decisions that affect their livelihoods.” Some of the reasons behind under-representation Ms King said in her society, leadership titles were retained by male family members, citing a Bislama phrase: “The woman’s place is at home.” “It is a stigma, where everybody just naturally thinks that all politicians should be men,” Ms King said. No two Pacific countries are the same, Dr Meki emphasises, but there are some common threads in the challenges women face when trying to get into politics. “The economy, the history of the region, and the culture of elections make it so difficult for them to participate,” she said. “Traditional positions of power in village or church hierarchies are still dominated by men … and women tend to have less access to the money and resources needed to wage an effective election campaign.” Lenora Qereqeretabua, the deputy speaker of parliament of Fiji, said women also faced more scrutiny than men in the public eye, particularly online. “Social media plays a big part in why some women may feel hesitant about standing for any kind of public office,” she said. “The kind of criticism that we open ourselves to when you’re a woman wanting to take part in politics … [covers everything from] how you wear your hair to what kind of clothes you put on.” Ms Qereqeretabua first entered parliament in 2018 as a member of the opposition. “One of the pieces of advice given to me by a seasoned politician, a lady who I respect very much, was grow a thick skin,” she said. “That doesn’t mean being labelled, being called names is OK. “It just means you’re going to have to accept that this is something you have to try and change. It may take a long time, but it is doable.” Helping powerful women become women in power Quotas and other temporary special measures are often touted as effective solutions but they are also controversial. “A lot of people don’t think that it’s democratic. But at the stage that we’re in, we need some type of special measure,” Dr Meki said. Samoa has a quota that dictates at least 10 per cent of parliamentary seats must be held by women. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa became the country’s prime minister in 2021, making Samoa just the second Pacific nation ever to elect a female head of government, following the Marshall Islands with its former president Hilda Heine. While quotas could be effective at elevating women in politics, Dr Meki said a society-wide approach was needed for lasting change. “There needs to be more mainstreaming about women as leaders, not just politically … women in aviation, women in mining, different sectors, women as leaders generally.” Ms King said she led a busy life but hoped her rise to become the first female MP in Vanuatu in 15 years would encourage other women to join politics. “As a mother of four, I have a full house, I do school runs, I still do school lunches, homework … it’s something that keeps me grounded. That’s my routine,” Ms King said. “Sometimes I kick myself because I asked myself … I don’t know why or what I’m doing here. “But it’s a reminder that if women are going to make it here, then maybe I’m going to be the trailblazer. “If this journey inspires one little girl … enough to make them aspire to be a politician or to go into parliament in the future then … my job is done.” _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: ABC NEWS – THE PACIFIC
The Supreme Court decision declaring Malekula Member of Parliament (MP) Asang Sanick’s seat void yesterday has brought into question the role of the Vanuatu Electoral Commission (VEC) and Vanuatu Electoral Office (VEO) in screening candidates for elections. The court found that Mr. Sanick was not qualified to stand in the election for Malekula according to section 61(2) of the Representation of the People Act [CAP 146], and that the Electoral Commission failed to pick up on his criminal conviction and sentence. “It was accordingly a failure in the part of the Electoral Commission not to pick up on the details of Mr. Sanick’s criminal conviction and sentence particularly, as the Commission has an eligibility assessment and screening responsibility arising in particular by section 26 of the Act that provides it with the power to declare a candidature invalid,” the presiding judge stated. The judge noted that the VEC received a report from the Commissioner of Police on Mr. Sanick’s criminal conviction, but ignored the advice and declared him eligible to contest the election. The judge also revealed that Mr. Sanick and his lawyer sought advice from the Deputy Electoral Officer regarding his criminal conviction and sentence, and were advised to contest the election as his suspended sentence was less than two years. The question of his eligibility was deemed to be vested in the VEC and not the VEO. On October 27, 2022, the Vanuatu Daily Post had published a front page article titled, “Malekula MP-elect Contested Snap Election Despite Suspended Sentence,” after obtaining confirmation from the Director of Vanuatu Correctional Services, Johnny Marango, that Mr. Sanick is still serving a suspended sentence. Sanick was sentenced on the 11th of August 2021, after he pleaded guilty to two charges of domestic violence (Counts 1 and 2) under the Family Protection Act, and one charge of breaching the Leadership Code Act [CAP 240] by failing to comply with and observe the law (Count 3). He was also the third Deputy Speaker of Parliament at that time and received a suspended sentence for two years, which should lapse on August 11, 2023. The judge’s verdict yesterday resulted in a vacancy in the polling district of Malekula, which the VEC will now address through a by-election for that vacant seat. According to the judge, “This is not a case where the next high polling candidate should be declared elected to fill that vacant seat given the tight voting numbers.” This highlights the importance of properly vetting candidates’ qualifications and criminal records before allowing them to run for public office. The two Election Petitioners, Mr. Fabian Vinbel and Mr. Gregoire Nimbtik, have welcomed the decision and called on Malekula voters to prepare for the by-election. The Supreme Court decision serves as a reminder to the VEC and the VEO to be more diligent in their screening of candidates for elections, particularly regarding criminal convictions and sentences. Failure to do so could result in a voided election and a by-election, as in the case of Mr. Sanick. _____________________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST