Report: Formal groups vital for empowering women

Setting up formal groups through which women can access training and income-generating opportunities is important for empowering women economically, says the Fiji Women’s Fund’s recent report “Promising practices from Fiji in empowering women economically – Learning from Talanoa Treks, Ra Naari Parishad, Rise Beyond the Reef and Fiji Women’s Fund”. Picture: FIJI WOMEN'S FUND/ROB RICKMAN

SETTING up formal groups through which women can access training and income-generating opportunities is important for empowering women economically.

This is one of the key findings highlighted in Fiji Women’s Fund’s recent report “Promising practices from Fiji in empowering women economically – Learning from Talanoa Treks, Ra Naari Parishad, Rise Beyond the Reef and Fiji Women’s Fund”.

According to the report, women are able to improve their skills, income and assets through formal, collective structures. Having access to resources and opportunities then changes the way women, and the men in their lives, think about themselves and what they can do.

As women build their knowledge, skills and attitudes, they are able to challenge the informal, communal norms and practices that exclude women, and eventually increase their influence in existing communal structures, the findings showed.

The report shared the experiences and insight from women’s economic empowerment work done by three organisations supported by the Fiji Women’s Fund – Ra Naari Parishad, a rural women’s membership group; Rise Beyond the Reef, a non-government organisation; and Talanoa Treks, a social enterprise.

Read more in tomorrow’s Business section of The Fiji Times.

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