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Female candidates in Vanuatu protest lack of women in parliament


Helen Thompson
WVoN co-editor

Female leaders in the Melanesian nation of Vanuatu are encouraging voters to boycott male candidates in the general elections set for the end of October.

Their move is to protest the lack of women in the Vanuatu parliament.

Eleven women boycotted MP Ralph Regenvanu earlier in August when he was due to present at a workshop entitled: “Women in Shared Decision Making Candidacy Training.”

 They argue that Regenvanu promised to advocate for female candidates in political elections but did not follow through with his support.

Candidates Wendy Himford and Jenny Ligo pointed out that Regenvanu would face competition as they are standing for the same Port Vila constituency in the election and his lack of good faith was “a slap in the face.”

Ligo told Radio Australia:

“We think that is a good strategy, that on the voting days women should only vote for women.

“We think that is good and we make an appeal to other community leaders and even individuals to see the need for supporting women, not only in Port Vila but throughout the country.”

Himford and Ligo will be joined by sixteen more female candidates in the general election on October 30.

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