FIJI NEWS

Dr Luveni explains expo, denies NFP claims

AQELA SUSU SUVA The Ministry of Women liaises directly with small women’s groups and not through umbrella bodies, says its Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni. Dr Luveni made this comment following
10 Aug 2014 10:30

Some of the women who were part of the National Women’s Expo. Photo: Ministry of Women

AQELA SUSU
SUVA

The Ministry of Women liaises directly with small women’s groups and not through umbrella bodies, says its Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni.
Dr Luveni made this comment following the issuance of a statement from the National Federation Party’s proposed candidate, Fay Volatabu.
Ms Volatabu claimed that the Women’s Ministry’s first ever Women’s Expo that concluded on Friday was indicative of unilateral decision-making between the ministry and women’s NGOs.
Dr Luveni said that over the last five years she had visited 1300 women’s groups throughout the country. This included the distribution of sewing machines and construction of women’s resource centres.
Dr Luveni said the expo was scheduled for last year but because of financial constraints faced by the ministry it was postponed to this year.
“This expo includes women’s groups under our network and it was a way for them to come together to showcase their handicrafts.
“They have been requesting us for markets and the expo was a great way of marketing their handicrafts,” Dr Luveni said.
She also highlighted that she wanted it to be held before the September elections because no one knew what the outcome of the poll would be.
“This is also one of my dreams and the ministry’s dreams because my service to women is paramount.”
Ms Volatabu said the ministry had always sidelined women’s advocacy groups in all its activities and decisions despite their years of valid credibility on this front.
“Dr Jiko Luveni has not respected the national structures and machinery of decision-making with women’s groups
This, she said, was more than the number of women’s groups that those women’s NGOs visited but has chosen instead to deal with individual women’s organisations and even individuals who have benefitted from the programmes of the Ministry of Women,” Ms Volatabu claimed.
“The Ministry of Women was set up by the pioneers of the National Council of Women Fjii (NCW Fiji) and the iSoqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei (SSV) to be the voice of women in Parliament but in recent years the ministry, under Dr Luveni’s leadership, has not been liaising with women’s NGOs choosing instead to undermine these structures.”

aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj




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