13th August, 2012
The weeklong “Women in Shared Decision Making Candidacy Training” Workshop at Crystal Blue Resort was closed by the Minister of Justice and Social Affairs, Charlot Salwai yesterday.
A total of approximately 23 women leaders including approximately 18 proposed candidates from throughout the country have benefited from the training programme which was organised by the Department of Women’s Affairs in partnership with the Pacific Leadership Programme & Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) under AusAID.
The proposed candidates include four women from Port Vila who are going to contest the six-seat men dominated Port Vila Constituency. They are Jenny Ligo, Wendy Himford, Maryanne Bani and Letty William. The four have yet to confirm under which party flag they are going to run.
They are going to run against current MPs Ralph Regenvanu (Graon mo JasticPati), Edward Natapei (VP), Moana Carcasses (Green), Maxime Carlot Korman(VRP who is going to contest in Rural Efate), David Abel (Alliance) and Patrick Crowby (elected by NUP then returned to UMP).
Spokesperson for the participants of the workshop, Jenny Ligo confirmed that her group wrote a letter of concern to the Department of Women’s Affairs against their Vt2, 000 a day allowance saying it was too small. Their feeling was that it should have as high as Vt10, 000 vatu per participant because they are not students or ordinary women.
Some of the 23 participants have come all the way from the rural Provinces. Director of Women’s Affairs Dorosday Kennth confirmed receiving such a letter saying the participants used their democratic right to express themselves.
However she said airfares for participants that travelled from the other Provinces were all paid for along with everybody’s accommodation and meals.
[Vanuatu Daily Post by Len Garae]