Pacific Leadership Women’s Program


The Emerging Pacific Women’s Leadership Program implements projects to provide Pacific women leaders with enhanced knowledge, skills and abilities to advocate for women’s economic opportunities and greater women’s leadership in civil society throughout the Pacific Island region.

In Vanuatu, the EPWLP program is implemented by the Pacific Vital Voices in conjunction with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2012, the Project “Creating a Public-Private Dialogue to Improve Market Conditions for Women in Vanuatu” was implemented – centered around helping the women of the Markets in Vanuatu.

“I have not been to school and I am about 55 years old. I have been selling my products at the market. I have been blessed for these 3 days so that I could attend my very first workshop which helps me how to plan and budget…I cannot read, but I will keep everything said in the workshop.” – Workshop participant

The women who work in the markets in Shefa, Lakatoro and Lenakel not only received basic financial literacy and business management training for the first time but also included awareness meetings which gave women the confidence to come together and advocate for changes to improve the market conditions.

The EPWLP is building women’s economic empowerment and public leadership capacity through improving women’s formal labor force participation, increasing women’s opportunities to engage in entrepreneurship, and increasing younger Pacific women’s leadership.

A major output of the training has been to elect a new Port Vila Working Committee made up of women for the first time to manage the Port Vila Market House, supported by the Municipal Council.

This program has enabled the VCCI to work with the grassroots communities and address the needs of the women at the market and the new program for 2013 is currently being developed.

The EPWLP was formed through a collaboration with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the AusAID Pacific Leadership Program and Vital Voices Global Partnership.

For questions or further information, please  call us on  27543 (extension 21).