The Director General (DG) in the Ministry of Justice and Community Service (MOJCS), Dorosday Kenneth Watson, has revealed plans for the official launching of a radio station for women in six weeks.

DG Kenneth made the announcement as Vanuatu joined other countries around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on Friday, March 8 2019.

“I made two announcements as the DG and on behalf of the Ministry responsible for women’s development, advancement and gender equality to mark this year’s celebration in Vanuatu – two years funding to support women directors in their roles and a radio station for women,” she said.

“The latter is the outcome of Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC)’s gender mainstreaming.”

The project will be located at the VBTC studio in Port Vila. It seeks to contribute to the elimination of gender stereotypes and promotion of multidimensional representation of women and men by bringing the opinions of women including rural women, women with disabilities as well as young women into the public media arena.

It also aims to provide a fair portrayal of women and men through the development and broadcast of content, including commercials, that reflects the composition of society, and human experiences, actions, views and concerns.

The beneficiary targets of the project are women; men; girls; boys; women with a disability; men with a disability; girls with a disability and boys with a disability

Direct beneficiaries include female staff employed by VBTC; Ni Vanuatu women in rural areas; single mothers; female high school students; female tertiary students; female teachers and women living with a disability.

It is envisioned the project has the potential to directly affect an estimated 50,000 women and girls directly. This is based on a listenership base in the three main centres of Port Vila, Luganville and Isangel.

It however has the potential to indirectly affect in excess of 150,000 people including men and boys. This figure is based on the number of people who will technically have access to this FM radio station.

To mark IWD this year, a breakfast was hosted to celebrate and congratulate the Government on the appointment of seven women directors in the public service.

“For so long it was just me, but now we are seeing progress,” DG Kenneth said. “There is a wind of change, and women must be able to understand and utilize the opportunities given to them.”

This year’s theme is “Balance for better” – balancing progress for better.

“The Department of Women’s Affairs and Ministry is aiming for collective responsibility, all sectors must step up together and focus on gender equality,” the DG said.