Women who enter the blood thirsty arena of politics need a
special commendation, in a male dominated battle field. It is great to see Ms
Hilary Clinton once more in the headlines, now backing Barack Obama.
A world away, another woman is facing unbelievable odds.
On a tropical island in Vanuatu
in the South Pacific, Mrs. Jenny Ligo is under pressure from an unexpected
Jenny, following her famous Aunts footsteps, was granted a
chiefly title earlier this year, by the head of the National Council of Chiefs,
Chief Paul Tahi.
Jenny was first liberally covered with baby powder, as a
symbol of good luck and well done. No one knows where this custom originated
from, but beware if you are an honored guest in Vanuatu.
You will also be liberally covered with baby powder until you literally eat it.
In order to enter the brutal field of politics, Jenny ceremoniously
killed eleven pigs. During her wedding late last year to Joe Ligo, she also
ceremoniously clubbed to death eleven pigs.
Jenny, is the niece of political and womens rights
activist, Grace Molis. Grace became the first woman to hold the post of Private
Secretary of Father Walter Lini, the countrys first Prime Minister, after the
nations Independence, 28 years
Mrs. Ligo has returned to her home island, Ambae, since the
general election is only weeks away. All should have been plain sailing for
this courageous lady, as she tours most parts of the island on the campaign
Speaking on behalf of some of the Chiefs of Ambae, Chief
Moli Tari told Jenny she is not permitted to contest in her home island,
according to island custom principles. Odd how this principle never emerged
during the pig killing ceremony early this year. Maybe the principles of the
ancient custom from this island change from day to day?
Because of her marriage to Joe Ligo on another island,
Pentecost, Chief Moli has told Jenny she can only contest the Ambae
constituency on one condition. She must perform a custom ceremony presentation of
10 tusked pigs to the chiefs.
That doesnt sound too difficult, until you realize the real
value of tusked pigs. In Vanuatu
you just cant walk into a sales yard and buy 10 pigs. Especially if they are
of any reasonable age and size.
Pig tusks are the wealth of every village and are one of
their highly valuable possessions. They are real currency in Vanuatu.
The Tari Buri Bank, headed by Chief Viraleo, has what they believe to be nearly
$ 1 billion in collateral, in pig tusks, in their fourteen branches. The bank
has reserves, accounts, cheque books and tight security. However, most of the
security is done by spirits and snakes. The bank offers mortgages, as well as
easy credit and pays a handsome 15% interest.
It is common in some areas for women to pay the school fees
in pig tusk currency. Often the tusks are still attached to the skull of the
dead pig. Without such a provision, many more children would never have the
opportunity to go to school, in a society where most of the villagers live on less
$ 1 daily. This is not a problem where the rich land provides much of their
Pigs which produce the highly prized curled tusks, have
their top teeth removed to allow the bottom teeth to curl. For the remainder of
their life they are hand fed. The pig is kept tied up in order to prevent any
damage to the tusk. The older the pig is, the better the curl. The very rare
three curled tusk is worn only by chiefs.
Where does Mrs. Ligo purchase the highly prized 10 pigs she
may have to give Chief Moli and his group? Especially as Chief Moli is not living
on the island of Ambae.
Will Jenny have to present the pigs on Ambae
Island, or to the chiefs living on
the distant island of Santo?
Which island will the pigs be flown to?
The plot thickens as two more chiefs have stepped into the
political arena. Chief Benwel Garae of North Ambae and
Chief Pascal Sese of Lolopuepue. They come from the chiefly rank of Mambuhangvulu,
the second highest rank of the Ambae chiefly system. The same tribe which Jenny comes from.
The chiefs told the local newspaper in the capital of Vanuatu,
If Chief Moli lived on Ambae he would not question Mrs. Ligos right to
participate in the political environment. The call made by Chief Moli is
childish and totally without independent existence.
For some unknown reason, Chief Moli is unavailable to meet with
Jenny face to face.
We have full confidence that the strongly determined, former
chairwoman for the Vanuatu National Council of Women has what she needs to
contest this election. Jenny is the kind of candidate who can alter the
education situation in Vanuatu,
where there is no free education. As a
mother, and gently spoken woman, Jenny has a real heart for the next
If women like Jenny are in the seat of government, there is
greater hope that charities like YouMe Support Foundation will be given some
help to assist children from these remote communities. Kids who will never see
the inside of a high school classroom without outside support. Children who
rely on a once in a lifetime Blue Moon Opportunity to provide them with funds
for non-repayable high school education grants.
You need to take a few minutes to check this Blue Moon
Opportunity out. It could be your only chance to make your dreams come true.