A Second Flowering

[Originally published in the Vanuatu Daily Post’s Weekender Edition.]

Lilly Lui with one of her biggest fansA quiet revolution is taking place in North Efate.

Awareness of the rights of women in Vanuatu flowered briefly post-Independence thanks to the labours of eminent advocates such as Grace Molisa and Hilda Lini. They laboured continually to ensure that the neglected majority – Vanuatu’s women and children – were heard in the national dialogue.

Thanks to their generation, we have provincial and national Councils of Women, shelters in Vila and Santo and countless projects and services focused on improving conditions for women. To cap it all, over a decade of effort has finally given the Family Protection Act the force of law.

And yet, in spite of all this, women still face countless obstacles making themselves heard in daily life of the nation.

Lilly Lui wants women’s rights to bloom again as they did in the heady days following Independence. The sole female candidate in the upcoming Efate North bye-election, she has been entrusted by women throughout rural Efate to voice their concerns on the national stage.

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A Tale of Two Telcos

[This week’s Communications column for the Vanuatu Independent.]

Last week I reported that, in spite of requests for information, neither TVL nor Digicel had responded in time for publication. I’m glad to say that in the days following, both of them contacted me. The way in which they did so was quite interesting to me, so this week I’ll share a few details, mixing them liberally with anecdote and observation of my own.

As with all such gossipy pieces, it’s possible the end result will tell you more about the author than the subjects.

Tanya Menzies, CEO of Digicel Vanuatu, was first to respond. She apologised that she hadn’t answered in the time I requested, but was quick to suggest we meet for coffee and a chat.

The ‘chat’, when it happened, lasted over two hours.
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