The Chinese Embassy in Vanuatu through Madam Lin Ying, wife of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Li Minggang, hosted an Afternoon Tea Function yesterday to celebrate the 114th International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration.

The event took place at the Chinese Embassy, Ellouk Road, Nambatri, Port Vila, where Vanuatu’s First Lady, Mrs. Rima Vurobaravu was present, Member of Parliament (MP) for Efate Rural, Gloria King and other respected women who works at the Government and Private sector.

During the event, the Chinese Embassy prepared a variety of traditional Chinese cultural activities for everyone, such as Chinese guqin, paper-cutting, Chinese tea art and Chinese medicine.

In her speech, Madam Lin said women are great, no place or any industry can be separated from the participation of women.

“In today’s society, the status of women around the world has significantly improved, and their sense of gain, happiness, and security continues to increase. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the status of Chinese women has also undergone earth-shaking changes,” she said.

“Women have the same rights and equal status as men. Women’s education and health levels have improved significantly, and women’s abilities and roles have been generally recognised by the public.”

She added that in China, contemporary women play an increasingly important role in economic and social development.

“In the past ten years, the proportion of women in China has remained at a relatively high level in terms of employment, with nearly 70% of women employed. Secondly, the education level of Chinese women has also improved significantly,” she said.

The First Lady said the 114th Women’s Day holds profound significance for every woman, every girl, and every person who recognises the vital role that women play in the societies.

“It is a day to honor the achievements, struggles, and contributions of women everywhere, from the smallest villages to the largest cities, across Vanuatu and beyond,” Mrs. Vurobaravu said.

“As we stand here, let us take a moment to acknowledge the strength, resilience, and unwavering determination of the women of Vanuatu. From the bustling markets of Port Vila to the peaceful villages, from the boardrooms of businesses to the classrooms of schools, women are at the forefront, shaping the present and paving the way for a brighter future.

“In Vanuatu, women are the backbone of communities, nurturing families, preserving cultures, and driving progress. They are the teachers who inspire the next generation, the health workers who care for the sick, the entrepreneurs who fuel economic growth, and the leaders who advocate for change.”

She said the celebration yesterday extends far beyond the borders of Vanuatu. It encompasses the countless women around the world who are breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and making their voices heard and It is a celebration of the trailblazers who came before them, the pioneers who fought for women’s rights, and the everyday heroes who continue to challenge injustice and inequality.

“I take this opportunity today to pay tribute to our hard working women in all walks of life who have left us to be with the Lord, we say thank you, your legacy will live on.

“Even as we celebrate, we must also acknowledge the work that remains. We live in a world where gender-based violence persists, where women are underrepresented in positions of power, and where unequal access to education and opportunities still exists. This International Women’s Day is not just a celebration; it is a call to action.

“We must commit ourselves to creating a world where every woman and girl can thrive, free from discrimination and violence, and with equal access to education, healthcare, and opportunities.”

The First Lady concluded that women should use Women’s Day as a catalyst for change, a reminder that the fight for gender equality is not over.

“To the women of Vanuatu and the world, I salute you. Your strength, your courage, and your resilience inspire us all. On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate how far we have come and recommit ourselves to the journey ahead,” she said.

“Let us work hand in hand, men and women together, to build a future where gender does not determine one’s worth or limit one’s potential.”