TWENTY women participated in a consumer education workshop organised by the Consumer Council of Fiji yesterday.
Consumer Council chief executive officer (CEO) Premila Kumar said the workshop aimed to empower women on consumer rights and responsibilities which would equip them with the knowledge and confidence they needed to make smart choices in the market place.
"Awareness for these women is a priority for the council as women face challenges in confronting the traders and service providers," said Mrs Kumar.
"Some consumers often fail to lodge official complaints either because they fear victimisation by traders or they are ignorant of their own rights or face difficulty in lodging complaints."
She said the council hoped to educate women on those aspects so they could fight for their rights.
A participant at the workshop Feroza Begum from the Suva Zanana League said the workshop proved to be very helpful for her and she was now confidently aware of her rights as a consumer.
"We used to ignore incidents if it happened because we thought the market had more power than us," she said.
"But now we know that we have a voice too and we are well aware of our rights and responsibilities as a consumer."
The participants were from faith-based and community oriented women's groups.
Mrs Kumar said those participants were ultimately responsible for taking the message out to their community.
"Reaching out to such groups and broadening its network is what the council hopes to achieve with its outreach programs," she said.