The Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW) says the Government needs to do more in providing financial support to the national council of women to enable it to carry out its aims and objectives.

Speaking at an audience with the President of Vanuatu, Baldwin Lonsdale, on Tuesday members of the national executive committee of VNCW expressed their appreciation to all past and present governments of Vanuatu for their support to national council of women and women and girls throughout Vanuatu. They were particularly grateful for the 1995 Parliament ratification of CEDAW Law which became effective and commenced on August 14, 1995 as CAP 235.

“However, the Government needs to do more in providing financial assistance to the council to enable it to carry out its aims and objectives,” the members of the national executive committee who comprised the Acting President Anita Deroin, national Secretary Wendy Garae, national treasurer, Yannick Iatika, member Leisara Kalotiti and Executive Director, Leiasmanu Cullwick.

VNCW does not get any financial help from the government but the Malvatumauri, the Vanuatu Christian Council and the Vanuatu National Youth Council do.

Through the Government of Vanuatu, donor partners of Australia, France and New Zealand, the council has two buildings situated on Saralana Park and with funding from the European Union they have a resource building at Namburu area, land given to VNCW by the Catholic Church of Vanuatu.

“VNCW’s mandate for 2012 to 2017 is to carry out 11 resolutions of six provincial and two municipal conferences and it is envisaged to bring all women representatives from 84 provincial areas and 10 municipal ward to its national conference in May 2012 to report on the outcomes of these resolutions: 1. Promote gender equality and empower women; 2. Stop domestic violence; 3. Improve education buildings and services; 4. Improve healthcare services and buildings; 5. Improve infrastructure; 6. Improve markets and small businesses for women; 7. Improve telecommunications inter-island; 8. Respect for traditional mats and Vanuatu artifacts; 9. Protection of lands where schools and health centres are located; 10. Ensure respect for the environment and its sustainability; and 11. Strengthen VNCW for the protection of all women and girls as emphasized under CEDAW Law,” they informed the President.

VNCW thanked the President for his numerous visits to Vanuatu communities, islands, and provinces including his participation in the Torba signing of the maritime boundary treaty between Vanuatu and Solomon Islands symbolizing the unity commanded by the Office of the Head of State of Vanuatu.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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