MALAMPA Gender action consultations participants with DoWA and UN women representative and NZHC Programme Manager, Isaac Savua.

The Ministry of Justice and Community Services successfully launched the Malampa Gender Equality Action Plan on Monday 27 September.

This is the second provincial gender equality action plan launch; further provincial launches are planned over the next two months.

The provincial gender action plans are a targeted way to implement and monitor the National Gender Equality Policy that was launched on 24 August this year.

The Provincial Plans were drafted in consultation with provincial stakeholders to develop a set of goals that the province is able to work towards to achieve gender equality.

On the same day, the Minister of Justice and Community Services also opened the renovated MALAMPA provincial office of the Department of Women’s Affairs, which was funded by the New Zealand Government. New Zealand would like to congratulate the Ministry of Justice and Community Services on the newly renovated building which will allow the department to continue to deliver important services in Malampa province — this building and the people in it will be at the centre of promoting the rights of women and girls in MALAMPA.

Minister of Justice and Community Services, Esmon Saimon, spoke about the importance of gender equality and the need for all partners to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and National Sustainable Development Plan: Vanuatu 2030.

First Secretary, Luke Gaskin and Gender Programme Manager, Isaac Savua from the New Zealand High Commission joined the Department of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Community Services for the launch.

“New Zealand congratulates Malampa on the launch of its Provincial Gender Action Plan and we are committed to working with Vanuatu and Malampa as you undertake the journey towards gender equality. It is crucial that men support the goal of gender equality and we must change our behaviour to achieve this,” Mr. Gaskin said.

Work towards gender equality has already started. For example, the Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Provincial taskforce has been established. Already many women in Malampa are involved in handicraft businesses, farming, cooperatives and store management. As a result of these developments, MALAMPA Province was the first handicraft association in Vanuatu to become a community company and products from MALAMPA are being sold across Vanuatu and the world.

New Zealand congratulates the Department of Women’s Affairs for their work in developing the Malampa Gender Equality Action Plan and looks forward to supporting the Department and the Malampa Provincial Government to deliver on this action plan.

This work is implemented by the Department of Women’s Affairs and in country partners and is supported by the Pacific Partnership, UN Women and the Government of New Zealand.

The Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG), and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

The Pacific Partnership is led by the Pacific Community (SPC), UN Women and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and funded by the European Union and the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, and UN Women.