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Fiji Time: 5:25 PM on Friday 25 April

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Women lead as 'agents of change'

Ioane Burese
Saturday, February 16, 2013

WOMEN are proving to be agents of change and this is evident through their growing recognition by leaders that they are also an important force to promote sustainable development.

Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, while addressing about 200 women, said the government was taking a holistic approach to empower women in the roles they play in society.

Speaking at the 'Empowering Women to Wellness' summit organised by the Health Ministry, Dr Luveni said the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which was ratified by Fiji in 1995, provided opportunities for Fiji to take concrete steps towards improving the status of women.

"Fiji ratified CEDAW in 1995 and the government has since developed legislation, policies and programs to ensure the elimination of discriminatory practices and the empowerment of women in our country is critical," she said.

"Such legal instruments give more authority to the police and relevant actors of the judiciary to investigate and prosecute reported cases of gender-based violence.

"The general public is now actively involved in the reporting of such violence."

Academic Dr Akanisi Kedrayate presented a motivational speech to the women and challenged them not to view themselves as inferior to men.