Two women participants outside the house of Refuge Church, Mele Village Efate, Port Vila. Credit: Rebecca Job

Reflection on women’s leadership roles in Vanuatu was some of the highlights of the workshops run by Further Arts in Mele Village, Efate Island, from 25-28 May 2021.

“This workshop is all about me, as a leader at home and in the community. I have never had a change or space to be given to me to be able to reflect on who I am and what I am doing. This workshop has given the opportunity to me to reflect on my life as a leader and I am very confident of the safe space that I can share about my challenges,” Monique Loloa, 39, told trainers.

The workshops were part of the Wivim Nesen Tugeta (WNT) project funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. The project initiative supports and encourages women in villages, communities, provinces and national level, into leadership roles and managing challenges they may face in those roles.

The SHEFA workshops had 35 women and one male participants.

Further Arts and WNT partnered with the House of Refuge Church and Port Vila City Council of Women Association to create a safe space for the mostly women participants to share their experiences, ideas and suggestions about women’s participation in leadership in Vanuatu.

“There was many tears and happy testimonies yesterday. Appreciate this providing a platform and safe space for women to speak up. It should not be hard but then we do not know what is happening behind the scene.”

Wivim Nasen Tugeta and Further Arts appreciate the Port Vila City Council of Women Association President, Mrs Jane Iatika taking part in the workshops. Mrs Iatika was accompanied by 5 ward presidents., that is Anamburu Ward President, Central Ward President, Tasiriki Ward President, Southern and Northern Ward President. Also, a big thanks to Pastor King and Mrs Julia King who provide the safe space for women to discuss issues affecting them in their leadership journey.