Economic participation

Women from Yadrana village in Lakeba, Lau at the Women's Expo last month. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

WOMEN are becoming knowledgeable on entrepreneurship and how to enhance their economic participation in Fiji.

This has been evident in recent divisional craft shows and expos where women from various divisions were given a chance to showcase their artisanal work that have become a source of livelihood for them and their families.

It is great to see how Fiji continues to promote women’s economic empowerment particularly for women in rural areas today.

Artisan from Lekutulevu Village in Vaturova Cakaudrove, Karalaini Likutabua, said it was through craft shows and women’s expos that she was able to confidently showcase her artisanal work and to describe it to people who were keen to learn about her products.

Ms Likutabua said rural women faced a lot of difficulties in getting their work recognised because they didn’t have proper avenues to help them showcase their products.

“Now through shows and expos we have been able to sell and share our knowledge with other women and sell our products at a fair price,” she said.

“Now we can contribute to development through our family and community and even to the economy.”

Patimaca Seleti of Yadrana Village, Lakeba in Lau said women from the outer islands thrived on craft shows because it’s through those events that they could meet their peers and learn from each other.

“It is important for rural women to participate in events that can help them grow to become entrepreneurs,” she said.

Akanisi Taito of Tuakoi Village in Rotuma said even at an old age, she was given an equal opportunity to showcase her products and to contribute to Fiji’s developments.

Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa during the Women’s Expo last month said Government promoted women’s economic empowerment, especially that of our rural women, in recognition of the fact that women were central to national development.

“We know that investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth; and therefore; we are adamant to create that equitable environment that our women need,” she said.

“The economic empowerment of women is a critical cornerstone to Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“Days are gone when women in Fiji remained confined to the four walls of their homes and their immense strength and potential remained unrecognised and unaccounted for.

“Now, they are increasingly participating in all spheres of life, and I must say it is a wonderful way to progress as a people, as a nation.”

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