“Women must grow in political parties to gain the necessary support from the men and also support the men with knowledge gained to grow in the parties”.

This is the advice from Jenny Ligo, Interim Chairwoman for Vanuatu Coalition for Gender Equity to Parliament, Chairwoman for Vanuatu Women Against Crime and Corruption and Vanuatu Human Rights Women Activist, as she distances herself from the women’s Leleon Party.

She has ruled out all negativity from men towards women and commends all women who are strong helpers of men and stand behind party presidents to grow in the political parties towards Vanuatu’s political maturity.

Her advice as Interim Chairwoman for Coalition for Gender Equity in Parliament is, “Women, find a political party that you are comfortable with and join it”.

According to her experience, too many resources and too much energy have been wasted in advocating for Women in Politics and she had been one behind all these advocating for Women in Politics and she has seen the need to call on women not to distance themselves from existing political parties.

She is confident that politics in Vanuatu will change and many men will start to respect women in politics in future. “It may not be one of us current women leaders but the new generation to come”, she predicts.

She suggests that as the traditional caretakers of homes, women should ask themselves if they have the necessary resources to own a political party.

This is because she claims Leleon Party is fully funded by a donor organization through its Leadership Programme while not supporting other women’s political groupings. “In my humble opinion, it is not right to hide behind a programme to get involved in Vanuatu Politics in the name of Vanuatu Women as many women are not part of this women’s political party”, she says.

She advises, “Learn the good characters of male politicians and be committed to get the party recognition and the men’s support. Have a good mindset on the work of politics in Vanuatu.

“There are many things we women might not agree with but Vanuatu is 39 years old and many of us do not have much time to waste but look at the possibilities to grow and benefit fully with our advocating”.

To prove her point, she adds, “Some of you women may not agree with my statement but living examples are Hilda Lini, Isabel Donald, Leinavo and Eta Rory who got elected to parliament because men stood behind them.

“I doubt that a women’s political party will work fully for women. We can use it to contest but at the end of the day we want to see good results.

“My advice also to women is to grow a protocol of integrity that men can also look up to you and respect you. Do not let yourself be used by men but be a good leader and a mother to men so that they can allow you to grow and get promoted in those political parties.

“Many challenges women are facing these days is through socializing and getting out of control with national leaders but having a mindset in leadership with integrity is a must for both men and women. Draw the line in between and allow the men to help you in your leadership otherwise women will still be referred back to the kitchen which is where women want to get out of. A role model with good standing is favoured when we learn from our mistakes and move on”.