The students and staff of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Vanuatu celebrated International Women’s Day this year and were proudly supported by the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (VWC).
The VWC is supported by the Australian Government. Counsellor for the VWC, Ms Freidah Butu, spoke passionately to students and staff about the achievements of the Pacific Island women.She spoke particularly about the Vanuatu Government’s commitment to encourage women to enter provincial and local government, and to represent their communities on the political stage.
Ms Butu highlighted the impact of domestic violence on women in Vanuatu, and the work that is needed to continue to combat this violence.
The work of men like Bruno Keama (a Certificate IV in Community Development student at APTC from the Island of Tanna), involves helping men to better understand their role as advocates for women. Through his work with the chiefs and communities of Tanna, Bruno is raising awareness of human rights and establishing dialogue around women’s rights and the issue of domestic violence in Vanuatu communities.
A critical aspect of Bruno’s training is his work placement with the VWC where Bruno is working to establish programs to support men as advocates for women and their rights. Bruno, with the support of APTC staff, organised the International Women’s Day morning tea at APTC.The event concluded with the cutting of a celebratory cake supplied by the VWC, who also provided a shared morning tea.