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Fiji Time: 1:49 AM on Saturday 20 September

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Role of women

Atasa Moceituba And Kajal Grant-Hindocha
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This year's Vodafone Hibiscus Festival will see contestants advocating on different and various platforms.

One such contestant is Miss Chicken Express, Akeneta Moce.

She hopes to highlight the huge and major role women play in society.

Brought up and spending most of her childhood years in Vatukoula, Ms Moce said participating in this year's festival was something she had been planning throughout the year.

Coming from a big family, the 21-year-old lass from Dawasamu, Tailevu said life was tough and not easy.

Ms Moce said "financial independence for rural women in Fiji" was an issue she planned to advocate on, in this year's Mother of all Festivals.

When asked why she wanted to advocate on the above she said this was something she was not new to. "My father used to be an employee at the Vatukoula gold mine before he got laid off from there; my mom was the one who has been supporting us.

"Through the workshops that are usually organised by some of the non-government organisations my mother was able to operate and run a small bakery to support my family."

She said after her dad left them her mother had been there for them and still managed to send all five of them to school.

Ms Moce said she wanted to help single mothers by encouraging them on the importance of starting their own business without relying on others.

With "climate change affecting human lives" used as this year's Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus Festival theme she said more should be done to address this issue. "Raising awareness programs and advocating are not enough, we need to put our words into action.

"We need to conserve our environment, replant our mangroves, it's more than just advocating and reminding people. Our future generation is at stake and we need to use our heads before we act."


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