Gender perspective – Female growers ‘deprived access to essential information’

Women cut sugar cane at Vuqele in Tavua. Picture: FILE

Women canegrowers and other grassroots stakeholders of the sugar industry are deprived of essential information that is relevant to them, said Sugar Ministry director policy, planning and research Reshmi Kumar.

Ms Kumar said such stakeholders were not aware of key information such as cane payment date and rates, disaster warnings and preparedness, order and applications of weeds and fertilisers and necessary cane farming advisories.

“With this widening digital and technology gender gap, many women in the sugar industry are deprived of essential information that is relevant to them,” Ms Kumari told staff at the Sugar Cane Growers Fund.

“Such information can be disseminated through the use of digital and technology and I thank some institutions that have taken gigantic steps in addressing this gap, but a lot more serious work is needed.

“Increasing awareness and education of women through the use of technology must be explored in all sugar institutions and the sugar industry as a whole.”

At the SCGF International Women’s Day celebration in Lautoka, Ms Kumari urged women to engulf themselves in the waves of digitisation and technology and make use of every opportunity to increase learning and self-development which could help build their capacity.

She indicated that it was the responsibility of the institution to ensure that opportunities for self-development was available to all women and a conducive environment was established for all women in the industry to grow and develop extraordinary potentials.

“Let us provide opportunities to allow all women to have access to digital and use technology to narrow the information gender gap, skills gender gap, knowledge gender gap that are requirements for social and economic development of all women in the sugar industry.

“All institutions should dwell on the thinking of how digitisation and technology can improve learning and self-development of women to enhance their work.”

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