The Silent Stand against Sexual Harassment held yesterday afternoon was an opportunity to bring Vanuatu together and say that the issue of sexual harrassment matters to all of us. Participants showed their silent demonstration in solidarity and represented all walks of life from the private sector, NGOS, government and community.
On the 26th November at 4pm, Oxfam in Vanuatu led a silent demonstration asking women and men to line the Lini Highway between the market and the Anchor Inn, silently and peacefully. Make your stand to show that you believe we need to treat each other with more respect and make our streets a safe place for all the people of Vanuatu.
The demonstration was not a march. It was a silent stand – bringing everyone together to form one voice – Stanap strong akensem sexual assult and vaelens.
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Sexual harassment is behaviour towards someone which makes them feel like uncomfortable or disrespected, or which tries to promote behaviour that supports negative gender stereotypes. Here are some examples:
– Comments or actions in the street that make people feel uncomfortable because they are being targeted based on their gender.
– Comments or actions in the workplace which make people feel like their employment or friendship requires them to act ‘more like a woman’ or ‘more like a man’
– Unwelcome touching.
– Comments or actions which make people feel like they are at risk of being touched, raped, mocked or humiliated because they do not meet strict gender ‘roles’.
Sexual harassment is very common on the streets of Port Vila. Women are often hissed at, kissed at, and spoken to in threatening ways. But the street is not the only place harassment occurs. It also takes place in workplaces, schools, sports clubs, and other community groups.
If you experience sexual harassement – towards you or anyone else, yu luk save, yu talemot and yu stopem.
For support contact:
Vanuatu Police Family Protection Unit: 111 (Digicel) 1111 (TVL)
Vanuatu Women’s Centre 24 hour helpline: 24000
Port Vila Central Hospital: 22100
Photo credit: Further Arts and Sista