A VANUATU civil society influencing Network (VCSIN) has called for urgent action to resolve the need for political party reforms or a political party integrity bill to regulate the creation and maintenance of political parties.
VCSIN is made up of 38 civil society groups and non-governmental organisations which operate under the banner of Governance, Leadership and Accountability (GLA).
The GLA Program is funded by the Pacific Islands Forum States (PIFS) administered through Oxfam, which enabled VCSIN leaders to meet this month to discuss issues of national importance and to construct a regional policy brief on ‘Women in Parliament’.
VCSIN Spokeswoman Dr Andrina Thomas says the latest meeting is in preparation towards the PIFS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting this month and the Pacific Leaders’ Summit in September.
In an earlier workshop on June 21, 2018, VCSIN members identified issues of national importance that needed focussed group discussions and presentations were made on the need for good governance concepts of transparency, accountability and the rule of law to be adopted by all political parties.
The spokesperson said government and other institutions need to improve their governance and eliminate patriarchal mindsets about the place and role of women, and reduce alleged ‘rampant corruption including bribery, nepotism, cronyism and gender discrimination which is happening on an epic scale in Vanuatu’s work-places, thus resulting in women not accessing or being removed from their positions of authority or not having a voice and space in Vanuatu’s parliament’.
One solution to combat this problem was the creation of a women’s political party known as the Leleon Vanua Democratic Party.
“The political party encourages membership from both men and women and will provide a platform for women to contest future municipal, provincial and national elections without any political party interference,” she said.