THE four lady contestants in the Festival of the Friendly North wowed a jam-packed Subrail Park in Labasa on Monday night during their first public judging.
The ladies strutted their stuff keeping the exuberant crowd entertained with their attire, communication skills and level of confidence while answering questions.
With the iTaukei Night theme, the contestants were elegantly dressed in traditional indigenous attire.
When asked to express her views on whether it was a good idea for women to join the workforce, Lady Apco Coatings Mereani Vasakula said women had a big role in the family's upbringing.
The Lomaiviti mother of three, who is advocating for an end to domestic violence against women during the week-long event, said it was only proper for women to work to support their families financially.
"If a woman doesn't work and if there is not enough income provided by her husband, domestic disputes arise," said the police officer.
"This is where domestic violence occurs because men get frustrated as there is not enough income to cater for everyone.
"I strongly believe if women join the workforce, they will be able to take part in decision-making, voice their opinions and concerns and, most importantly, they will be able to provide for their families."
Mrs Vasakula said women were blessed with a caring and loving heart, one that looked out for her loved ones.
"If men go out, it's the women who will be at home taking care of things and I believe that they should work to provide for their families."