nz-female-deputy-speaker-vanuatuMember of Parliament (MP) for East Coast and Deputy Speaker of New Zealand (NZ), Anne Tolley, said during a recent visit to Vanuatu that NZ will help to get women in Vanuatu into parliament.

Currently, Vanuatu has no women in parliament.

Very few women have been elected to parliament since independence however, there have been some positive development in the representation of women in higher private and Government positions.

Women continue to struggle to get into power and make their voices heard in a male dominated society.

The NZ female Deputy Speaker said women are as capable of leadership as men but they have to change social and cultural norms to enjoy politics rights.

“One of the message we want to give is that Vanuatu needs men and women representation in parliament”, she said.

She said a good parliament is one that has diversity.

“A parliament should be made up both men and women with different beliefs working together to represent their communities.

“NZ is looking at how it can help to support women who want to get into politics and parliament”, she said.

She encouraged women in Vanuatu who are thinking of contesting the 2020 General Election to be confident.

“If you really believe in something, you must have confidence to stand up for it.

“Women in Vanuatu must also support other women’s participation in politics in regardless of differences.

“Men on the other hand, must also be part of the change of ensuring women are better represented in political decision making.

“They must create space for women”, she added.

Deputy Speaker Toller was the first NZ female Minister of Education. She previously served as the Minister of Social Development, Minister responsible for Police and Correctional Services and also for Local Government.