ONE thousand one hundred and sixty-four women have registered to be part of the first National Women's Expo in August this year with more still expected to register.
The expo is expected to allow Fijian women from both rural and maritime areas an opportunity to showcase their talent and explore avenues to improve their livelihood.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Dr Jiko Luveni, during the launch of the program design on Friday in Suva.
Dr Luveni said the expo comprised three different events that the participants would be a part of. The events are the Women and Children's Summit, the first National Women's Expo and the Marama ni Yavusa program.
"It is an event to celebrate and recognise 'women as agents of change' in our nation and more importantly to advocate the fact that when a woman is empowered, there is a direct relationship with the improvement of the livelihood status of her family and household," Dr Luveni said.
"It also recognises that for too long, women have not had the necessary infrastructure support to enable them to truly access the right markets with their hand-made products and wares.
"Now, for the first time, this event will bring rural and maritime women to the capital for a trade expo of their products and for the opportunity to network with each other in three dedicated days."
She said one key feature of the expo was the Rural Women's Fashion Show, where a total of 50 designers and 50 models would be part of the show.
"There will be displays and sales of handicraft, pottery, mats, food and other hand-made items at the national expo," she said.