WOMEN from all walks of life gathered in Nadi yesterday to participate in the Rural Women's Day food and craft fair.
Organised by the Department of Women in partnership with NGOs, the event marked the first time a fair was held to recognise and celebrate the contributions of rural women in Fiji.
Ana Maria of Taveuni said the celebration enabled the women to learn various multi-craft skills and income-generating projects from other women.
"This is a first of its kind and we thank the department for organising the show," she said.
"This is also a huge learning experience on the types of businesses they operate."
Rabi native Terikano Takesau echoed similar sentiments, saying the show was an opportune time to sell some of her work.
Acting Police Commissioner Ravi Narayan said rural women made up 70 per cent of all market vendors, thus contributing significantly to the coffers of city and town councils.
He said rural women must be commended for their efforts.
"Rural women keep our markets stacked with fresh fruit and vegetables," said Mr Narayan.
"We must acknowledge the strength of a woman.
"Women are naturally enterprising, innovative and courageous.
"Many of us probably never realise this. We need to rise up and respect this."
The two-day show ends today.