While women have equal rights under the law, they continue to battle deeply entrenched patriarchy and a reluctance to educate women. The majority of women enter into marriage through "bride-price payment". This practice reinforces the notion of women as property. Many female leaders regard village chiefs as one of the key obstacles to social, political, and economic rights for women. Traditional attitudes continue to hamper women's participation in social, economic and political life.
Vanuatu has not been listed on the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) for 2016. It has acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1995. Vanuatu was absent from the vote on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT); it has signed, but not yet ratified. During the 2017 WPS Security Council Open Debate, Vanuatu did not make a statement. They have not developed a National Action Plan on the Implementation of Resolution 1325 (2000).