History made as Vanuatu marches in opposition to violence against women

Mich-McConell-Wilson08

The protest march sets off from Vila’s seafront. Photo: Mich McConell-Wilson (via Facebook)

In an outpouring of popular protest today, several hundred women, men and children marched in Port Vila and Luganville to demand an end to violence against women in Vanuatu.

The marches was organised in response to the attack earlier this month on tourism industry worker Florence Lengkon, who was kidnapped and assaulted by seven men after she complained on social media about the aggressive behaviour of some bus and taxi drivers at Port Vila’s wharf.

In Port Vila, the protesters marched from the seafront to Parliament House, currently in session, where they met by MPs from Government and Opposition. At Parliament, Florence Lengkon presented a petition demanding stronger action against gender-based violence to Minister for Justice Hon. Ronald Warsal.

Florence Lengkon presents the protestors' petition to the Justice Minister. Photo: TIV

Florence Lengkon presents the protestors’ petition to the Justice Minister. Photo: TIV

The protesters in Vila included members of the general public, representatives from NGOs, womens’ groups, Government departments and staff from numerous local businesses who were given time off work to attend the march. Law students from the University of the South Pacific’s Emalus campus also joined in, as did local Pacific communities. The Tongan community’s group was led by a royal visitor, the Hon. Alematea, son of Princess Fusipalo.

Late this afternoon, Vanuatu’s Parliament passed a motion to adopt Commonwealth parliamentary procedure and allow the petition to be presented, and in a first for the country, the petition has just been read out inside Parliament.

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3 Comments on “History made as Vanuatu marches in opposition to violence against women”

  1. Peter Wederell says:

    No wonder nobody on Santo can be bothered with the media in this country. There also a march in Luganville, that other town

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    • dailyvanuatu says:

      Peter, the Luganville march is mentioned in the story, and Mayumi Green’s photos from the event feature in the slideshow at the end. Please re-read the story.

      Like

  2. Sue Farran says:

    Great to read news of the action against domestic violence. This is a huge problem in the region affecting women, children, men, the elderly and the disabled. Let’s hope Vanuatu can lead the way in making a change especially in changing attitudes and ensuring ‘Kastom’ is not used as a justification for what are acts of brutality, inhuman and degrading treatment.

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