Sabrina Brown, Vanuatu Young Women For Change, attends 13th Pacific Triennial

The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women took place in Suva, Fiji, from 2 to 5 October 2017.  The purpose of the Conference was to share experiences and make recommendations to accelerate progress towards achieving gender equality and a full realisation of women’s human rights in the Pacific region.

It was the first time for many of the Ni-Vanuatu delegation to attend a Triennial. Sista caught up with the Ni-Vanuatu representatives of civil society and asked them to share their thoughts on women’s economic empowerment, which was the theme of the Triennial. 


Sabrina Brown, Vanuatu Young Women For Change

Sabrina Brown, Vanuatu Young Women For Change

 Mi wan single mother so tingting blong mi hemi vois blong ol young mama wea i gat pikinini. Mi tink se biggest barrier long saed blong women’s economic empowerment hemi access to finance. Now ia hemi gat ol micro schemes wea I kam insaed long Vanuatu. Hemi really gud from hemi save helpem ol mama blong makem wan business but hemi gat big interest wea yu mas pem bak.

Hemi very stressful long ol mama taem hemi mas pem bak ol interest from hemi bigwan tumas. I gud sapos i gat ol scheme wea ol mama hemi no gat need blong pem bak bigfala interest.

Mi stap wok insaed long wan private health clinic and mi luk se I gat fulap mama, young and old, wea olgeta hemi gat high blood pressure.

Yumi stap tink se hemi gat high blood pressure from ol kai kai, be taem yu toktok wetem olgeta, mifala findem aot se hemi no kai kai nomo. Olgeta hemi gat high blood pressure from olgeta hemi gat stress blong pem bak ol interest long ol scheme afta mental health blong olgeta hemi no gud.


Sabrina with Vanuatu delegation in main conference room at Triennial

Mi wantem se government hemi mas traem supportem ol mama wetem wan scheme wea hemi savem helpem olgeta blong growem business blong olgeta mo luk aot gud ol family. Hemi gud tu sapos ol mama hemi save gat training blong managem ol business so olgeta hemi gat peace and security.

Long mi, peace hemi meanem happiness long wan haos mo long wan wok ples. Taem bae mifala tok tok long saed blong economics, long mi, hemi meanem finance. Finance hemi meanem security.

Ol mama hemi gat expectation blong puttem kai kai long table and I gat some man wea hemi stap pushem ol mama blong makem sua se I gat kai kai. I gat fulap mama wea man blong hem I talem long hem se hemi mas makem garden blong kai kai mo karem money blong pem skul fee.

Ol mama hemi stap wok hard blong luk aot ol family be ol man hemi no stap ting ting blong security blong ol family blong hem. I have seen it – this is the real life of Vanuatu.

Sapos wan man or boyfriend hemi save se woman blong hem I karem wan loan blong wan scheme, man ia hemi talem long woman se hemi mas karem money ia blong makem half half wetem hem.

At the end of the day, it’s the women who are trying their best to make sure there is food on the table, a roof over our head and school fees are paid. Sapos hemi karem wan loan, now ia hemi gat wan narafala responsibility blong pem bak ol loan. Be lo haos, hemi gat fulap wok wea hemi mas makem tu olsem clean, cook, karem wota, luk aot pikinini.

Afta bae yu luk se husband hemi just ting bout kava nomo from society expectation hemi stap talem se hemi responsibility blong ol mama nomo blong luk aot ol family. Hemi wan big problem.

Hemia now why mi wantem se government hemi mas recognizem unpaid wok blong ol woman. Afta hemi makem mo esi blong helpem ol woman.

I gud sapos I gat wan scheme wea hemi recognizem ol issues wea ol woman hemi stap facem insaed long policy blong olgeta. For example, ol scheme hemi mas save se I gat sam mama wea hemi mas askem permission blong man blong hem bifo hemi save karem wan loan. Afta I gat sam mama wea man blong hem I stap force blong giv half half long hem.

Ol scheme hemi mas save ol social issues blong makem sua se process hemi protectem ol mama. Hemi gud sapos ol scheme hemi save makem ol form hemi esi blong usem, makem interest hemi low mo recognizem se ol mama hemi gat fulap unpaid wok – just give wan opportunity blong ol mama blong liftem up laef blong olgeta wea i no gat stress.

Sabrina represents Vanuatu Young Women For Change and was sponsored by Care International to attend the Triennial

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  • Understanding popular political attitudes in Vanuatu

    The Pacific Attitudes Survey: Vanuatu gauges the views of ordinary ni-Vanuatu across a range of themes, including how ordinary citizens engage with and trust their political institutions; their broader understandings of democracy and tradition; and attitudes to key issues like climate change and labour mobility. This is the second Pacific Attitudes Survey (PAS), following the first survey in Samoa. The PAS was implemented nationwide in all six provinces, using face-to-face interviews with 1,330 randomly selected participants of voting age (18 years and over). Sampling reflected population proportions, like age and gender, drawn from the 2020 National Census. The findings detail an intriguing and complex picture of political and social attitudes, with a distinctive mix of democratic and traditional values in Vanuatu’s political culture. Here, we highlight six. First, findings demonstrate that ni-Vanuatu have a strong commitment to democracy. The PAS found that ni-Vanuatu share a strong preference for democracy over other alternatives. Similarly, and despite recent political turbulence, 84% of ni-Vanuatu were also satisfied with “the way democracy works” in Vanuatu compared to only 15% who were not. This might be seen as noteworthy, given repeated votes of no-confidence in and around the survey period. However, while short-term political instability like that which characterised the data collection period is not unusual, the overall resilience of Vanuatu’s democratic system may explain the strong commitment to and support for democracy among its citizens. Second, politics is generally conceptualised and practised through local and traditional, rather than national, pathways. Ni-Vanuatu place a “great deal of trust” in church leaders (82%) first and foremost. This was followed by chiefs (79%). Respondents reported lower levels of trust in political parties (38%). While 34% of respondents reported talking to their MP at least once over the last three years, more than half of respondents (54%) reported they had “got together with others to try resolve local problems”. This reflects the notion that while formal political engagement might be relatively low (at least outside of campaign periods), informal activities at the local level attract stronger engagement. This local emphasis is valued even in national politics, with respondents noting a preference for their MP to focus on “helping with community projects”, rather than promoting national development. Third, climate change is perceived as a lived reality and urgent issue in Vanuatu. An overwhelming majority of ni-Vanuatu believe that climate change is an urgent problem that should be addressed (81%). 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Men (78%) were significantly more likely to report being interested in politics than women (56%). They were also more likely to report having engaged in political activity in the past three years. Intergenerational changes were also evident, with older generations more likely to exert political influence than younger generations. While respondents demonstrated widespread support for greater women’s representation in politics in principle, the survey showed that social norms of political leadership still favour men. Finally, both China and Australia are seen to have a lot of influence on the Pacific and Vanuatu specifically. China was regarded as the country with the most influence in the Pacific (42%), with Australia (35%) following close behind. Both China (78%) and Australia (76%) were seen as having a “great deal of influence” on Vanuatu itself, followed by New Zealand (62%), France (55%) and the US (41%). The results of the PAS suggest ni-Vanuatu citizens have a broadly positive view of international influence, and of development assistance. The PAS represents the first nationally representative popular political attitudes survey conducted in Vanuatu. It provides important data on attitudes towards democracy, development, gender, climate change, labour mobility, and international relations at an important juncture in Vanuatu’s history. The format of the PAS also allows for comparison — regionally through the previous PAS survey in Samoa, and internationally through the modules adapted from the Global Barometer Survey. The PAS Vanuatu both closes a data gap and provides a platform for further research on political attitudes and participation in Vanuatu and the broader Pacific region. Disclosure: This research was supported by the Pacific Research Program, with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and The Asia Foundation. The views are those of the authors only. This article appeared first on Devpolicy Blog (, from the Development PolicyCentre at The Australian National University. Kerryn Baker is a Fellow at the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs. Michael Leach is a Professor in Politics and International Relations in the Department of Social Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology. Christopher Mudaliar is a Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • Husband Threatens Life of Unborn Child and Mother Sentenced to 2 Years, 11 Months

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  • Heritage Mats Return

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  • Seminar to better understand impacts of labour mobility on children

    The Vanuatu Government has been leading efforts to better understand the impacts of labour mobility on children. In partnership with the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), they will be hosting a seminar next week on protecting children in the context of labour mobility. The seminar is an opportunity to engage with government leaders from selected countries and a diverse group of stakeholders, to better understand the impacts of labour mobility on children that are left behind. Around 40 participants, including senior representatives from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Samoa will be attending the seminar from Tuesday to Wednesday. Representatives from faith-based and non-government organisations, including from Papua New Guinea, regional organisations, academic institutions, bilateral and development partners will also participate. They will be briefed on the findings of an initial study on the impacts of children left behind, in four Pacific countries-Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Fiji. They will reflect the findings and recommendations for improved child protection, and an agreement on way forward. This study is conducted in partnership with the University of the South Pacific, Western Sydney University key government partners and UNICEF. There will be panel discussions on child protection in the Pacific and labour mobility in the Pacific on Tuesday after the opening remarks from Vanuatu’s Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Matai Seremaiah. The Pacific is witnessing increased migration and mobility, placing pressures on already stretched extended family care structures and formal services and support to children and their families, according to a joint statement. “Children are the future of the Pacific. Their environment directly impacts their wellbeing, as does the extent to which communities and duty bearers respond to potential risks,” the statement relayed. “The context in which children are growing up continues to change, with new challenges and opportunities to navigate. Therefore, the need to work together with children and their families, decision makers and other national and subnational stakeholders in strengthening preventive measures and responsive services is critical… “The seminar will also share information on related issues such as cost of violence and investment in children, learning on context and good practices including a focus on community protection and the role of churches as part of the prevention and response mechanism at all levels; and consider the connections between protection risks and investments required to adapt child protection systems to changes in the region. “The outcome will contribute to regional dialogues and discussions on human mobility and other agreed regional priorities; and inform the Pacific Child Wellbeing Summit that will be co-hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and UNICEF in late 2024. “UNICEF’s Executive Director’s visit to Vanuatu will coincide with the seminar. This visit provides an opportunity to better understand national and regional priorities, challenges as well as good practices that build on the Pacific way, culture and values whose foundation is deeply rooted in the family and community; and dialogue with partners on global UNICEF priorities and ways of strengthening partnership.” _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST

  • Vanuatu National Youth Council faces staff cuts and funding crisis, operations in jeopardy

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