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UN Women Today in Vanuatu
UN Women in the Pacific works in partnership with national governments, civil society, women’s organizations and the private sector to advance efforts to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls in the Pacific region. UN Women’s focus areas in the Pacific are Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Resilience.
UN Women in Vanuatu is excited to introduce the Markets for Change Project (M4C) which is the follow on from the Partners Improving markets (PIM) pilot project that some of you may know about.
The Partners Improving Markets Project, aimed at strengthening women’s economic security and rights in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. A series of country-specific pilot initiatives were designed with a core strategy to facilitate partnerships and social dialogue among and between people and institutions that manage and govern markets – local level government and women vendors who comprise the overwhelming, yet least powerful, majority of traders on market floors. It focused on building upon local initiatives and identifying entry points for change. The project worked towards achieving inclusive, effective and representative marketplace groups, contributing to gender, social and economic advancement, the elimination of gender-based discrimination and violence, and expanded economic opportunities for women.
The Markets for Change - Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is a six year initiative aimed at ensuring that marketplaces in rural and urban areas in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory environments, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In Vanuatu the project will involve the following markets- Port Vila, Emua, Epau, Paunagisu, Mangaliliu, Mele-Matt and Luganville, and will work with the SHEFA PGC, Port Vila Municipal Council and the Luganville Municipal Council.
Market vendors and predominantly women, and marketplaces offer important venues to effect women’s social and economic change. In targeting female market vendors at marketplaces, the M4C PROJECT will contribute to the broader Pacific Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) result of secure, productive and sustainable work opportunities for women. From previous experience there is solid evidence that marketplace improvements in physical infrastructure and governance can significantly improve the economic and social lives of women market vendors.