Attitudes Toward Vanuatu’s Female Market Vendors Slowly Changing

Market to Change project improving women’s involvement in decision-making

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 22, 2016) – Despite the reality that at least 75% of market vendors of Port Vila and Efate and everywhere else in the Pacific are women, they are not included in the decision making of how to run a business.

The Australian Government is confident that under the Market for Change Programme, the traditional mentality towards women is gradually changing.

A representative from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade made her remarks to mark the launching of the “Continuing Market Business Education to improve the economic security , rights and livelihoods of market vendors” at Epau Village during Shefa Day Celebrations in East Efate on May 17.

The celebrations were attended by the Minister of Internal Affairs who launched the continuation of the Market for Change project that day, Market for Change Leaders, Shefa Provincial Government Leaders, UN Women and UNDP Leaders, Mayor of Port Vila and the National Bank of Vanuatu Rural Business.

She said already there are signs that the mentality is changing especially since in July of last year, Port Vila witnessed the formation of the Silae Vanua Market Vendors Association which she said represents over 3,000 market vendors in Efate.

Last month of April, UNDP and the National Bank of Vanuatu signed a partnership agreement to work together to train women in financial literacy, how to keep financial records and how to put affordable prices which earn profits and how to save to develop their markets.

She said, “I congratulate you women for your achievements, who are taking part in the Market for Change Programme and all of you (stakeholders) particularly UNDP, UN Women, the National Bank and Shefa Province for the support towards the development of rural women in Efate to also take part in the economic development of the country”.

Australia has provided over Vt800 million in the last six years towards the Market for Change Programme to develop the necessary skills that women in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomons need to contribute towards the economic development of their countries.

While on the subject, this is to correct an error in our last weekend issue in which the article said the Minister launched the “Market for Cahnge”. That had already been launched. In fact the Minister launched the “Continuing Market Business Education to improve the economic security, rights and livelihoods of market vendors”.

Also it was Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or DFAT that provided financial assistance for the project and not through TVET as reported as having been reported by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

We apologise to all relevant stakeholders including the Minister for the errors.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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