EVERY woman has the right to live in peace and dignity.
These were the words of the National Volunteer Steering Committee chairperson, Zarina Begum, who was chief guest at the International Women's Day celebration in Labasa.
She told more than 400 women who gathered at the civic centre that every woman had the right to shape her future.
"That is a genuine call for equality. Every woman has the right to shape her future and the future of her family and country," she said.
"Today on International Women's Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to women's rights and move forward with courage and determination," Ms Begum said.
"Let us defend human rights, the inherent dignity and worth of the human person and equal rights of women and children."
Ms Begum said women have also faced the worst inequities in access to social services, land and other productive assets.
"My point is that, if women are left out of decision-making, nothing much will be achieved or can be solved without the full empowerment and participation of the world's women."
She said women's full and equal participation in the political and economic arena were fundamental to democracy and justice, an issue women have been demanding.