6 Nov 2019

Oxfam Vanuatu not interfering in politics - country director

11:54 am on 6 November 2019

Oxfam Vanuatu has not intervened in politics with its campaign to increase women's representation in Parliament, the NGO's country director says.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila.

Vanuatu parliament building in the capital Port Vila. Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

The 'vot woman' campaign is seeking for up to 50 percent of seats in Parliament to be reserved for women.

Elizabeth Faerua said Oxfam had helped facilitate the campaign as it is mandated to empower women's involvement in democracy.

The NGO was criticised last week by the Internal Affairs Minister, Andrew Napuat, who said he would not tolerate foreign organisations interfering in local politics.

However, Ms Faerua said the initiative was a local one driven by Vanuatu civil society.

"This is a local issue. It's led by local leaders and driven by local leaders and therefore needs local solutions. It's not driven by international agenda at all, all our Oxfam staff in Vanuatu are locals."