10 Feb 2009

Vanuatu women seek support to increase political representation

4:53 pm on 10 February 2009

The Vanuatu National Council of Women is looking for financial support to help it increase the number of women in Parliament.

There is now just a single woman MP in the Vanuatu Parliament after two women candidates, both previous winners in the Epi constituency, lost a by-election last week.

Local reports say they split the female vote.

The president of the National Council of Women, Manina Packete, says the result is a sad day for women in Vanuatu.

She says her organisation can break down the barriers to women in politics but it needs backing to achieve this.

"Financially supporting the national office to carry out our network and also to carry out our programmes down to the grassroot level. [So that] People down to the grassroots level know better their human rights and also to make their own decision, because [a] lack of education and information, means people are not confident in themselves and depend on other people's decisions."

Manina Packete of the Vanuatu National Council of Women