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Editorial: Let’s Turn Up In Numbers To Support Our Artistic Women

Editorial: Let’s Turn Up In Numbers To Support Our Artistic Women
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa and Assistant Minister Veena Bhatnagar with Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali with officials and recipients of the Fijian Crafted licence at the Vodafone Arena on August 12, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar
August 14
11:00 2017

Women showcasing their skills and talents in various forms of art and craft at the National Art Exhibition must be acknowledged for coming out in numbers.

This week at the National Art Exhibition at the Vodafone Arena, you will witness the various women’s groups who travelled from the Eastern, Northern and Western Division showcasing their art and craft to the Fijian people during the 2017 Vodafone Hibiscus Festival.

The Minister for Women, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, while speaking to the artisans at the weekend said that it was important for men to show their support to women who were also working hard to support their families.

She said a woman who is able to earn with her husband increases the possibility of their children being able to complete and have a better education.

Women from the various divisions have a lot of talent, and you can witness this during the exhibition this week. These women are not showcasing their products for nothing, they are not at the event just to be part of another exhibition.

They are here to show other women that their skills are invaluable and are worth passing on to their children. They are also earning them a bit of income that helps run their daily lives.

Do not underestimate these women, their focus in weaving a mat, making a fan or printing a masi and any other product is demonstrated and reflected in the crafts being made.

It is important that we turn out in numbers to show our support to these women.

At the weekend 47 artisans received their Fijian Made licence making it easier for them to showcase their products.

The Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign has been hailed and acknowledged by various women groups from around the country.

The Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Made Campaign was mooted by the Government in 2009 to promote and raise the profile of Fijian made products and have them produced domestically and internationally.

This was through a national branding strategy.

The initiative supports Government’s import substitution policy aimed at promoting the production of items which are heavily imported but can be easily produced in the country.

Mrs Vuniwaqa said: “Fiji has a good mix of skilled crafters who make authentic handicrafts depicting the fine culture and heritage of the country.”

To date Fiji has 257 Fijian crafted licence holders throughout the country, Mrs Vuniwaqa confirmed. While presenting the licence to the 47 women, Mrs Vuniwaqa encouraged the women to put their skills to good use.

The women were also encouraged that upon their return home they must produce the same quality of products as they have always been producing.

They were advised not to be passive but to make use of their licence, to start thinking of their supply and meet the demands of the market or when orders come in.

These women can be motivated more and continue their work, if we do our part by showing our support and encouraging them.

Losirene Lacanivalu


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