THE development of women is the development of the country.
This was revealed by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, during her address to the Nadonumai community in Lami on their commitment to Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community yesterday.
"Women have not been included in the development work in the communities. Half of Fiji's population are women and half are men and if we are not included in the development work, forced to be confined in our houses, there will be no development," Dr Luveni said.
She said there would be no progress if men decided to work alone.
"Women should be developed in education and health. If the women are happy, the whole family will be happy."
Dr Luveni said the government initiative was to progress women development in Fiji and had therefore allocated $1.1 million this year for this purpose.
"Good women, good men, good children, good family will lead to good communities."
A gatekeeper committee was also erected in the community to be a watchdog of violence against women and children in the area.
Dr Luveni said the community would be given eight months to make a difference.
She said they had until October to eradicate violence against women and children and they would be working with the ministry and police to achieve this.
Certificates of Commitments were given to committee members who were mostly men from the community.