The Department of Women’s Affairs has a mandate to inspire change and the reopening of the refurbished DWA building yesterday was another step further to women empowerment.
The Prime Minister Charlot Salwai officially addressed that the occasion marked another milestone in Vanuatu’s progress and journey in the development and advancement of women in Vanuatu.
“The refurbishment of this building is testament to on-going government’s effort and commitment to build an inclusive society and promoter gender equality as well as empower ni-Vanuatu women to participate in decision making and development,” he said.
“Government is well versed with challenges and issues facing the development of women in Vanuatu and my current government is committed to address these challenges within our means.It is a goal for this current government to create a happy, resilient and inclusive society where citizens can live a meaningful and worthwhile life.”
PM Salwai said conveyed that National Sustainable Development Plan goal 4 provide for an inclusive society where the rights of women, youth, the elderly and the vulnerable groups are supported, protected and promoted in Vanuatu’s legislation and institutions.
“While there has been major progress in many areas, there remains a need to review our existing national plans and institutional frameworks in light of the prevailing conflicting attitudes that impacts the advancement of women,” he said.
“I take this opportunity to offer the government’s appreciation to the People and Government of Australia for their generous funding support through the TC Pam Recovery Fund and Stretem Rod Blong Jastis funding programs in funding this refurbished government office for Women.”
The Australian High Commissioner, Jenny Da Rin reiterated that project resulted from the strong collaborative relationship between Vanuatu and Australia.
“The Australian government through the SRBJ funding program, is advocating for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls and to help eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women at the same time promote a society that is inclusive,” she said.
“We are glad to see that the building was built by local company which provided employment for the locals, local shops benefited having their products purchased locally and this has contributed to improving capacity and skills.”
The Director of DWA, Dorosday Kenneth Watson stated the refurbished building has improved facility to provide access for disability, a room for child care, a prayer room and a room to provide counselling for the neglected.
“Our vision is a safe and secure society, where women and men of all ages and abilities live in harmony and work together for a better Vanuatu and i applaud you all for your continuous support,” she said.
The Head of the government,PM Salwai has also acknowledged the Loli Construction Company for their great effort, architect in redesigning and repairing the building and the Australian government for the funding of the project.