Breaking the glass ceiling: Women in politics

Advancing women in politics: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu with 1st Political Advisor Mrs. Anthea Arukole (r) and and 2nd Political Advisor Mrs. Jeanette Yiu-Hing Faerua (l)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade is proud to have two women appointed to the positions of 1st Political Advisor and 2nd Political Advisor – Mrs. Anthea Arukole and Mrs. Jeanette Yiu-Hing Faerua respectively.

These two women are the only women to occupy the positions of 1st Political Adviser and 2nd Political Adviser in the current government, and it is probably the first time in Vanuatu’s history that women have occupied both 1st and 2nd PA positions in a single Government ministry.

There have been many efforts and initiatives to advance women in political participation and decision making in Vanuatu and when the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ralph Regenvanu, took office in December last year and appointed women into the two key positions in the cabinet, it gave comfort to the gender advocates that there are male champions who are committed to advancing women.

This is very positive for Vanuatu.

Both women have been key figures in the Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) since its conception. Anthea is an active member of the National Executive of GJP and is not new to the 1st Political Advisor position.

She was previously the 1st PA at the Ministry of Internal Affairs prior to moving to Foreign Affairs. Before taking up the 1st PA role in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in February 2017, GJP Minister Alfred Maoh had another woman as his 1st PA, Mrs Emily Tumukon.

“Having been part of the National Executive of a political party for has helped to grounded me for my role as a political advisor and i am no stranger to leadership and management roles,” Anthea says.

“While being first political advisor is challenging, i have a lot of support within the party as well as from senior officials of Government whom I encounter. It helps also that the current Acting DG of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also a woman, Mrs Roline Tekon”.

Minister Ralph says he is very satisfied with the performance of his two key political advisers to date.

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