Happy International Womens’ Day? Pregnant women still sleeping on hospital floor in Vanuatu

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

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Standing up to be counted: Women of Vanuatu demanding their place in the political life of the nation

Too often disenfranchised by culture… women voters during Vanuatu's 2016 General Election. Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat

Disenfranchised by culture… women voters during Vanuatu’s 2016 General Election. Photo: Commonwealth Secretariat

“Respect”, as Father Walter Lini famously said, “is honourable”. But despite the enormous social, economic and cultural contributions they make every day, Vanuatu’s women are rarely given the respect they deserve; they continue to be shut out of political life. And yet, as the scandals of the last 12 months have shown, Vanuatu urgently needs better, more representative political leadership. Vanuatu’s full potential can only be realized when it has a gender-balanced leadership that includes, respects and values the enriching perspectives that women bring to political life. Today, on International Womens’ Day, we bring you the powerful story of a Vanuatu woman leader’s journey as she stands up for the right to take part in politics.

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