WOMEN play a crucial role in all aspects of life especially in their families because they are the root and foundation of a stable and happy home, says the interim Minister for Education Netani Sukanaivalu.
He was talking at the World Women's Day celebration in Labasa yesterday.
"With a contented family, you are contributing to a stable and happy nation and I can only marvel at the numerous roles and responsibilities bestowed on you by your families and by society," he told women at the celebrations.
Addressing more than 1000 women at the Labasa Civic Centre, Mr Sukanaivalu reminded them that education was the most effective and important tool for a successful future which in the case of some women, such opportunities could have been prevented due to gender discrimination.
"For some families when it comes to making a choice between educating a daughter or son, the son usually takes priority. Worse still is the notion that a daughter is not worth investing in because she is seen as a liability as she could one day become another man's wife or another family's property.
"Gender discrimination is one of the greatest moral challenges of our age and there is no doubt that we will be judged on how we respond to this challenge," Mr Sukanaivalu said.
But he challenged the women to take up opportunities that were offered by the various Government ministries on small income generating projects.
"Education does not always mean sitting behind a desk. It could mean sitting in a community hall learning how to arrange flowers, attending a session where you are taught how to start a small business or it could mean learning through distance mode."
"There are many avenues that could be explored and the key is to be persevering and to develop a 'go get it' attitude."
He said over the years, the role of women has changed and today, there were many career women who juggled their time and energy between a job and the home.
"And I can only marvel at how well many of you have done this," Mr Sukanaivalu said
The special day attracted women of different races and religion who gathered to celebrate the world event with entertainment and a small lunch for all.