WOMEN make up about 87 per cent of market vendors in Fiji says permanent secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Taina Tagicakibau.
She added income earned from markets hadmaintained many rural and urban families from falling below the poverty line.
While closing the nine-week capacity-building training for women market vendors at the Rakiraki market, Mrs Tagicakibau acknowledged the importance of women vendors.
"I have noted women are often catalysts of change in their communities and districts and we should always ensure and encourage their participation in local government level.
"However, at the market, women market vendors are unorganised and without a voice in the leadership of Vaileka Market Association," said Mrs Tagicakibau.
She said women had been excluded from the governance of markets nor participated in decision-making for market improvement.
The ministry in partnership with United Nations Women's Partners Improving Markets (PIM), UNDP Pacific Centre designed the Millennium Market (MM) project with a One Country One Market approach.