17 Oct 2013

Women in Vanuatu fight for a better custom land deal

6:54 am on 17 October 2013

Women in Vanuatu have told a national land reform summit in Port Vila that women must get a fair deal in land negotiations and benefits.

The land minister Ralph Regenvanu has organised the meeting to discuss his proposal to change the country's land laws.

Elizabeth Moli, who is a landowner on Santo, spoke at the summit.

She says she was left out of a controversial land lease arrangement organised by her brothers, which was eventually overturned by Vanuatu's highest court.

Ms Moli has welcomed the new proposed changes to the way custom land is managed, saying women have been denied their rights as custom land owners.

"The few years that pass, the few people making decisions out of themselves, not consulting any families, or the tribes, of the land. So my expectation is [the parliament] must implement Article 73 is talking about - a fair sharing of the land, and a fair sharing of leases income, and all the others."

Elizabeth Moli, a landowner on the Vanuatu island of Santo.