Department Of Women’s Affairs

By | January 17, 2022

Department Of Women’s Affairs, The Department of Women’s Affairs is the official national women’s machinery for recommending and implementing government policy. DWA counts many organizations as strategic partners, including but not limited to government ministries, provincial governments, development partners, CSOs and faith-based organizations. DWA also supports stakeholders who are better positioned or have the expertise and resources to lead policy implementation.

The policy statement for the National Gender Equality Policy is the Government of Vanuatu will exercise leadership to achieve gender equality and take proactive steps to embed gender equality into its legislation, policies, programs, organizational structures, and operational procedures.

The purpose of the policy is to provide a strategic national framework for enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Vanuatu. The policy aims to provide a coordinated structure to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of various efforts and activities undertaken by all actors and stakeholders.

The Department of Women’s Affairs is the official body of the Vanuatu government.



DWA was established in 1980, by the former Prime Minister the late Honorable Walter Lini, and former Minister Sethy Regenvanu. Initially, our focus was to monitor the government’s decisions on issues concerning women and similarly advocate for women to have improved access to justice, health services, and literacy. The office was established under the name of the Department of Social Welfare and at that time was joint ventured with the Vanuatu Women’s Centre.

In 1995, the Republic of Vanuatu ratified The Convention of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Today, DWA advocates for CEDAW implementation in political action, policy development, and custom traditions through:

• promoting economic empowerment

• eliminating gender-based violence

• working toward greater diversity in national, provincial, and local governance

• promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities

• promoting and protecting the rights of children.

In Vanuatu, Children’s Day is celebrated to “Stop violence against children” and “Give a child the chance to express their opinion today.”

After the march there are speeches and activities organized by schools, including a dance. Then, after midday, children return home to spend time with their parents for the rest of the day.

Visit this link to view the Departments of Women structures