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Women are a lighthouse for families

Losalini Vuki
Thursday, March 08, 2018

INETRNATIONAL Women's Day (IWD) has developed into a truly global celebration of gender equality and female empowerment. With this year's theme PressforProgress, the Multiracial Women's Market Vendors Association which consists of 320 members in total is in full support of today's celebration. Association president, Folau Koroiradinibau said IWD was important for women in the association because it was a day of empowerment for women.

"Women are capable of anything and great things," said Mrs Koroiradinibau.

"Whether you are selling tavioka, or kai or whatever it may be, you can achieve big dreams. We look forward to joining the march to support women power in Fiji.

One of the missions of the association is to reach out and assist the women vendors who are widowers, senior citizens, orphans, single mothers and household wives trying to earn a living and improve their businesses and life in general by acquiring and operating businesses in the market, namely sea food, juice, handicraft, food kiosk stalls that will employ the mothers and young women."

She adds the association also negotiates and handles all related matters for the women market vendors with the Suva City Council, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Women and the Government of Fiji and all related organisations.

"Our task is to promote and secure development ventures for the association by affiliations and cooperative teamwork that is beneficial and is in the best interest of the members," she said.

"Our mission is also to make aware and promote women's rights and its practices to the members and impact lives and make a difference in society and our beloved nation, raising and influencing wise, educated, successful and empowered women and responsible mothers to be good role models for future and current generations."

The association's main aim is to purchase a 4 tonne carrier that would pick goods from all around Viti Levu to be sold wholesale to the market vendors and middleman and to transport the women market vendors from the remote parts of Viti Levu to the market and back.

"Other projects include the purchasing of a piece of land to be used for Yasi tree planting and opening a scholarship scheme that will be used to assist the children and members of the association at all levels of education. All these businesses will be owned and operated by the association and its members," she said.

"Therefore bringing more income into their homes and raising the standard of living in our societies. I would have to say at this juncture it was all possible because of God. This association started because of God and it started when I had a vision.

A few of us women came together, prayed and fasted about it and afterwards we had the right people at the right time and we were fortunate enough to run."

The vision of the association is to be a lighthouse that communicates and reflects hope, love and faith, grounded in Jesus Christ, in the lives of women market vendors with a holistic mind-set and approach that produces successful business ventures, raises more educated and empowered extraordinary women and mothers in the society and our nation.

The objectives of the Multiracial Women's Market Vendors Association are:

* To secure the complete organisation of the association.

* To promote, protect and maintain just and proper treatment of members in all aspects — business and life in general.

nTo represent the interest of the members to the Fiji Government.

* To negotiate all matters relating to the promotion and development of the Multiracial Women Market Vendors.

nTo promote the Women's Rights and practice among members, other vendors, the public, non government organisations (NGOs), United Nations and Women's Rights Movement.

nTo promote and lift the standard of women vendors' business and life in general.

nTo do such things that are incidental and conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.

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