Vanuatu: Bringing Hope and Healing to Women


The World Day of Prayer celebrations for 2021 were hosted by Vanuatu with the theme: “Building on a Strong Foundation”. Bible Society of the South Pacific, in partnership with World Day of Prayer, sought to take a holistic approach by advocating and empowering women who are victims of domestic violence. Awareness workshops and healing sessions on domestic violence will be provided, as well as Scriptures and trauma- healing booklets, enabling them to have the word of God as their source of strength and comfort.

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Too many Pacific women and girls experience violence, even though the call to acknowledge, address and act to end all forms of violence against women and girls is not new. Governments, NGOs and faith-based organisations are working together to close the gap between national commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Statistics reveal that 42% of women in Vanuatu have experience some form of violence. Domestic violence and child abuse are embedded in the gender and power relations that underpin the low status of women and children in Vanuatu.

What happens within the family is seen to be a family matter and community members will not intervene to protect a woman from an abusive husband. Chiefs counsel women to preserve the sanctity of the family unit, to maintain family and village harmony. It can be very difficult for a woman to leave a violent relationship. Married women cannot accumulate personal wealth, and men have better rights than women to the children of a marriage.

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