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Leave your mark, young women urged

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

YOUNG women need to come out and exercise their right to vote, says the co-ordinator of Fiji Young Women's Forum, Mamta Chand.

Ms Chand's comment comes ahead of a forum organised by the Fiji Women's Rights Movement to encourage women's participation in politics.

She said it was about time for young women to put the issues and challenges they face in the national agenda.

"The main objective of the forum is to encourage and influence political participation of young women to vote in the 2014 general election," she said.

"And the second is to empower young women to lobby political parties and candidates and decision makers for better representation and inclusion of young women's issues."

Ms Chand said a total of 30 young women from all around the country with diverse backgrounds would participate in the forum scheduled for Friday.

"We will have women with disabilities, trans women and lesbian women," she said.

Ms Chand said it was critical to educate young women as Fiji moves towards democracy.

"And the election is just in September.

"And now that the voting age has been brought down to 18 years and we are having election after so many years, it's really important for young women's voices to be heard and counted."

Ms Chand said young women needed to be empowered, influenced and inspired.

"We have been given the right to vote, and looking at women's suffrage, women fought to vote, lost their lives while voting and they went through violence.

"And I think young Fijian women should realise what women went through."

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