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Bid to empower women economically

Filipe Naigulevu
Saturday, June 17, 2017

FIFTY ONE rural artisan women will now be able to obtain the Fijian made emblem for their products and further expanding their reach to new and potential markets.

This was after they were handed their Fijian Made Crafted licence at the Fiji National Women's Expo at the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.

These include those from rural areas within Viti Levu and Vanua Levu including the maritime islands of Lomaiviti, Kadavu, Lau and Rotuma.

It was particularly a proud moment for Juria Henry, a 54-year-old artisan from Malhaha in Rotuma, who were part of the group that received their licences.

Ms Henry is part of the 14-member delegation all the way from Rotuma to attend the three-day expo.

I feel proud because I came all the way from my island just to be here and receive this certification," she said.

"I am also proud that this will add value to the handicraft from my island which is a gift from God to my ancestor."

Ms Henry said it would now be challenge for her to keep and maintain her products according to the standards under the Fijian-made branding.

Meanwhile in handing over the certificates to the women, acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum reminded the women to maintain the consistency of their products.

In this regard, we are indeed grateful for the collaboration, to develop each individual artisans and women's groups to recognise our skills and talents..

"It gives you the economic opportunity, it gives you the ability to increase your wealth, ability to make your products then at the same time get a value for it," he said.

"So you become less dependent on people and husbands, and welfare. It has a multiplier effect."

Thirty more women were also identified from the FIji National Women's Expo and will be soon handed their Fijian Made Crafted licence.

The "Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign" was mooted by the Fijian Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in 2009.

This was to primarily promote and raise the profile of Fijian made products and produce, both domestically and internationally through a national branding strategy.

The 'brand' is categorised with different representations, each having to meet a certain compliance criteria as endorsed by Cabinet in 2011.

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