The Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW) will mark 37 years of existence on Monday, May 15, with programs of celebration throughout the country.

In Port Vila the main celebration will take place at the Assemblies of God (AOG) church house at Tebakor with the church service beginning at 9am followed by lunch for everyone at midday.

It will be followed by speeches from the Acting President of VNCW, Mrs. Anita Deroin, and from partners of VNCW and other women’s groups. One of the women’s organizations joining in the celebration this year is the Vanuatu Women’s Centre VWC).

Executive Director of VNCW Leiasmanu Cullwick, explained that celebrating the annual VNCW anniversary for the last five years has been the resolution of the last VNCW Conference in 2012.

And every year, women from different churches that are members of one of VNCW’s partners, Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC) take turns to host the annual celebration.

Mrs. Cullwick said the main highlight for this year’s celebration is the introduction of Em Power to the women at the Apostolic Church.

Em power is the female mascot to Nasi the male parrot, which is the official mascot for the Pacific Mini Games hosted by Vanuatu in December in Port Vila.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Food Security and Agriculture to Sustain a Happy, Healthy and Wealthy Vanuatu for Everyone”.

Mrs. Cullwick said that women play an important part in food security for the family and the home and the theme of the celebration aimed to highlight this role and the importance of land and agriculture to food security.

She added that VNCW is appealing for the cooperation of men with women to achieve the aims of the theme for a happy, healthy and wealthy Vanuatu.

Additionally, this year, to celebrate May 15, the VNCW day, women, girls, men and youths of Vanuatu are urged to join the Vanuatu Women’s Centre and VNCW in a “Retake the Night” March starting at 5pm from Anchor Inn in Port Vila to the main market in show of solidarity against violence against women and girls.

Marches will parade with lit candles to say “No to Violence.”

In a live talkback show broadcast on Radio Vanuatu to inform listeners about the program for VNCW anniversary celebration, Jill Makikon of VWC, said that sexual violence is the highest form of violence in Vanuatu today.

And topping the list of the forms of sexual violence is indecent exposure, followed by incest and rape. READ MORE