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The role of women in our society has changed

These are the words of Mrs Rotina Hilo from Women’s Department Office in Vanuatu during the Just Play Planning Workshop last week at Teouma Academy.
‘Women who have achieved great stature in government, industry, sports, and the media have become a familiar sight. And yet, it appears that there is no clear public understanding of the realities of women’s and girls’ lives in this country.”
“Today in Port Vila, only few girls playing football and I believe there will be more in the future.” Our customs in the islands is very strong that chiefs don’t allow girls or women to wear shorts but today in Vila and Santo, girls start to wear shorts and play a sport which is very good to see.”
“I thank Just Play Program for organising football small sided games for girls and boys to play together.” It is always important to mix girls and boys together in sport when they are still kids and when they grow older, they will be better sportsman and woman in Vanuatu.”
“The good thing about Just Play Program is they help the kids to live a healthy lifestyle.” Not just the kids, the program also help adults to live a healthy lifestyle.” Said Rotina Hilo.
VFF and OFC member associations has worked closely with UEFA, the Australian Government – through its agencies the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) – and Football Federation Australia to implement the programme across the Pacific over a three-year period between 2009 and 2012. It was launched in Tonga and is now also running in American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
The confederation has also been working in New Zealand with Special Olympics on a Just Play programme for people with mental disabilities and has launched the same initiative in Samoa and Fiji.
Just Play has reached over 106,000 children – 43 per cent of whom are female – across the Pacific and trained over 2,200 teachers and volunteers.

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