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Investment on women's economic empowerment

Luke Nacei
Monday, March 05, 2018

ECONOMIC empowerment of women remains a promising area of investment and an emerging market with an abundance of talent to be tapped into.

This was the sentiment of Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa to the hundreds of women artisans during the closing of the Central Craft Show at Albert Park in Suva last Friday.

According to Ms Vuniwaqa, initiatives such as the divisional craft show and the National Women's Expo were a great example of establishing platforms that could help women artisans connect to markets for a sustainable livelihood.

The platforms, she said, also had the ability to break through barriers to explore full economic capacities and independence of Fijian women.

"When we speak of women's economic empowerment we refer to women's economic rights including equal access to ownership of and control over property, productive assets and resources including finance and capacity building and access on an equal basis as men to decent work and full and productive employment," Ms Vuniwaqa said.

"Our economic independence or full ability to freely assert our autonomy and exercise our own will; and our full access to decision making in all economic decisions that affect our lives and the lives of our families, communities and societies.

She said these aspects of empowerment must be recognised and promoted as an integrated whole.

"If one aspect fails, full empowerment cannot be realised and a holistic sustainable development future is jeopardised.

"The consequences of women's economic empowerment are vivid at the household level."

The craft show, which saw women artisans from Serua, Namosi, Beqa, Tailevu, Naitasiri and Rewa provinces exhibiting their handicraft, is a buildup towards the fourth national women's expo scheduled for June this year.

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