NATION

Spotlight On Rural Women Designers

Rural women have been encouraged to engage in fashion designing as a means of generating income to improve their livelihoods. The challenge came from the Minister for Women, Children and
19 Oct 2015 10:01
Spotlight On Rural Women Designers

Rural women have been encouraged to engage in fashion designing as a means of generating income to improve their livelihoods.
The challenge came from the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Rosy Akbar, after the National Women’s Expo and its fashion show last week at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.
Twenty-four designers took part in the Rural Women’s Fashion Show.
They were part of the 600 women artisans selected from around the country. The rural women fashion designers were praised by Ms Akbar.
“It’s inspiring to see rural women showcasing their designing skills,” Ms Akbar said.
She called on rural women to enter fashion designing.
“The fashion show is a platform to bring out those hidden talents. This year’s Expo has enabled the women artisans to not only display their talents in terms of handicrafts and contemporary art, but to also display their creativity in terms of fashion designing.”
The fashion show was organised by her Ministry to mark International Rural Women’s Day last week – celebrated annually on October 15.
It was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Morris Hedstrom (MH), Courts Fiji Limited and Island Chill.
The prizes for best designers included cash of $500 each, MH’s shopping vouchers and electrical sewing machines. Seven designers were chosen based on the creativity, quality and practicality of their designs.
Ms Akbar assured the women that the Ministry would continue to create similar opportunities to help them.
“The Ministry will work towards organising similar fashion shows in the divisions as well. This is all part of the Ministry’s effort to reach out to rural women and create new opportunities to recognise their talents. It was wonderful to see women designers show beautiful collections of their traditional attires.”
The event was also attended by Indonesian Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Yohana Susana Yembise, who was the guest of honor at the Expo.
“The National Women’s Expo with the theme, “Connecting Women to Markets: Make it Happen,” is very useful for all the women, considering this activity is a place to exchange information, share experiences, best practices and stimulate creativity,” Ms Yembise said.
“In difficult times, it’s usually the women who actively take the role to contribute towards her family income. The women are also required to have the creative power and innovation to create something that can be redeemed with money or other goods. All that has been shown through the National Women’s Expo in Fiji, it’s a great initiative to recognise and build women’s creativity and innovation,” she said.
The Expo ended last Friday.



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