A nine-year-old girl’s perspective of how men and women can work together to improve development in Vanuatu

vanuatu pikinini

Anita was the winner of the Westpac women’s grant this year for the primary school category. Anita, like many girls in Vanuatu, had a late start to school however Anita is now jumping leaps and bounds in her quest for education and a better Vanuatu.

Anita dreams of being a police officer and loves playing with dolls and going to school.

Below is her perspective of how men and women can work together to achieve development in Vanuatu:

My mum always says that there is no such things as ‘boys work’ and ‘girls work’. In my home my brother and I share the work together. My mum likes to remind us that men and women have hands for working and brains for thinking. Mum says that we all have to help each other.

Many times in my friend’s homes I see girls doing a lot of work and the boy’s just playing. Sometimes my friends have no time for homework or playing because they are tired from cooking, cleaning and washing and looking after their brothers.

I think if men and boys helped women and girls at home women and girls would have more time for other things like extra classes, homework and playing sports. These things help to make us smart, strong and healthy. It would also teach boys and men to respect women and girls and treat us fairly.

I think if all homes were like mine we would have a strong country because girls would grow up to be bus drivers, police, doctors and anything they wanted to be.

We need to start at home and in our communities. We need to teach mums and dads that they can change the future of Vanuatu by changing the way they can help each other at home.