Press release: Improved Toktok at Port Vila market
Port Vila, Vanuatu - No more shouting at the top of his lungs for Paul Tabi, the main staff announcer at Port Vila market in Vanuatu. Today, he’s receiving a microphone to ease communications through Port Vila market’s new Public Announcement (PA) system.
“When TC Pam hit the country in 2015, it destroyed the PA system that was installed when the market was built,” said Port Vila market Acting Market Manager, Mr. Andrew Titus. “Until today, we have been using our voices to shout out announcements and awareness which was sometimes disturbing and scary for customers, especially visitors. With the new PA system, announcements and awareness can reach all the vendors at every corner of the market.”
The PA system is installed as part of the UN Women Markets for Change (M4C) Project which is a multi-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and effective communications plays an important role in achieving these.
The new PA system responds to feedback from market vendors and market management who identified the need for an effective communications system which local authorities can use to communicate to market vendors and the public in Port Vila market.
Port Vila market vendors had indicated to market management and M4C Project staff that the vendors value receiving information from the market manager on a regular basis but in the absence of a PA system, missed out on announcements shouted out by the Port Vila staff. Without a PA system in place, the Port Vila market management also equally struggled to communicate with vendors at the market.
To address the communication gap, the M4C project has installed the new PA system for the Port Vila market as a tool to improve communication between the market management and market vendors in the marketplace. This was made possible through funding from the Australian Government and support from the Port Vila Municipal Council (PVMC), PVMC Workshop and Port Vila market.
“The Australian Government is pleased to support women’s economic empowerment and women’s leadership through the M4C project. Today’s PA system will provide market vendors with better access to information to support better management of the market house,” said Alison George, First Secretary at the Australian High Commission.
“We would like to thank UN Women’s Markets for Change project and the Australian Government for this new PA system. It has been a long time need of the Port Vila market and will truly benefit both the market management and vendors,” said the Lord Mayor of Port Vila, Honourable Albert Sandy Daniel.
Going beyond market announcements, the PA system is also an educational tool for the vendors, which will be linked up to the television screen at the market that displays news, educational and cultural videos.
“The PA system provides options for announcements, radio and music, and connection to the Port Vila market television for videos,” said UN Women Vanuatu Country Programme Coordinator, Betty Zinner-Toa. “Vendors will be able to access valuable information through news, documentaries and more to build their learning while at the market. Good communication is also critical for the safety of market vendors and is also part of the market emergency plan – so that vendors know when they need to evacuate during a natural disaster like a cyclone, or tsunami warning.”
“It is good to finally have a new PA system. Before, we can’t hear what was shouted out from the corners of the market. Now we can hear announcements and listen to the news anywhere in the market, and even watch television,” said market vendor Naurai James of Rentapau area in Efate.
UN Women’s M4C project is a multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. A UN Women project, M4C is principally funded by the Australian Government, and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is a project partner.
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Media enquiries should be directed to:
Trisha Toangwera | Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Markets for Change, Vanuatu, UN Women
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: UN Women’s Markets for Change project
UN Women’s Markets for Change project: UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project is a key component of its Women’s Economic Empowerment programme. M4C is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. A UN Women project, M4C is principally funded by the Australian Government, and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is a project partner.
Between 75-90 per cent of vendors working at Pacific marketplaces are women and their earnings often make up a significant portion of the incomes of many poor households. Despite this, women are often excluded from market governance and decision-making. M4C works with stakeholders, service providers and the market vendors themselves to: build and support inclusive, effective and representative advocacy groups; deliver appropriate services, training and interventions; ensure women’s voices are heard and taken into account at the decision-making level; and to improve physical infrastructure and operating systems.