FIJI marked International Day of Rural Women yesterday with a workshop in Ba that touched on the important role women play in the local agriculture sector.
Organised for women market vendors, the event aimed at raising awareness on the sale and marketing of their produce.
Ba Town Council Administrator Arun Kumar said the workshop organised by UN Women proved beneficial on its first day.
"It educates these market vendors on the importance of their crops — how they can improve their produce, how they can market it, and how they can manage it.
"Essentially, they are being trained to become better at what they do. They are being taught basically how to maximise their resources as well as increase their awareness of agriculture and the role women play," he said.
The workshop hosted over 100 women from markets all around Fiji and Mr Prasad said they hoped to see more than 180 women from across the country in attendance today.
Tevola Lewatabe, the president of Ba Women's Rural Association, said women played a major role in local agriculture.
"Reducing gender inequality and recognising the contribution women make to agriculture is critical to achieving global food security," she said.
Ms Lewatabe, a retired civil servant, has been a market vendor since November, 2011.
International Day of Rural Women was launched on the October 15, 2008, by the United Nations General Assembly.
UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon said then that empowering rural women was crucial for ending hunger and poverty.
Mr Ban said this was why the United Nations recently launched a program to empower rural women and enhance food security.