The Silae Vanua Market Vendors Association (SVMVA) and the Mele International Day of Rural Women Committee (MIDRWC) will be celebrating the International Day of Rural Women at Mele Village today (Thursday).
SVMVA and the MIDRWC are hosting the 4th International Day of Rural Women celebration for Efate and offshore islands today and tomorrow, Friday 13 at Mele Village as the October 15, the actual IDRW date falls on a weekend.
According to SVMVA President, Ms Esline Solomon, the event is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the critical role and contribution of the rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eliminating rural poverty around the world.
“Since 2014, IDRW in Vanuatu has helped raise rural women’s and market vendors’ self awareness and pride as they learn, understand, recognize and acknowledge the important role they play, their value and contribution towards Vanuatu’s economy through their small livelihood activities,” she said.
“The theme for this year is, ‘Together we make changes’- majority of our members are from rural areas of Efate and offshore islands and dependent of natural resources and agriculture for their livelihood, however, we have limited access to information, credit, healthcare and education, climate change mitigation, agriculture and improved farming practices, government and its development plans needed to make decisions relating to livelihoods.”
Ms Solomon reiterated that they believe that by working together and sharing information, rural women can make improvements to their livelihoods, small businesses, rural communities and the nation.
“Therefore, this 2-day event aims to unify rural women around Efate, provide an opportunity for them to connect, share and learn from each other’s experiences, and equip them with information from different organizations and institutions to help their development and empowerment,” she said.
The day will begin with an opening parade, followed by string bands, speeches, displays, stories, local food,handicraft and many more activities.