NATION

Exhibitors Praise Empowerment

  A craftswoman believes women need to empower themselves as they grow and the three-day National Women’s Expo is one such platform they can do this. Ana Sikoa, 67, says
22 Jun 2018 10:00
Exhibitors Praise Empowerment
Seruwaia Batule with her friend Ana Sikoa (right), display their handicrafts during the 2018 Fiji National Women’s Expo at FMF Gymnasium in Suva on June 21, 2018. Photo: Ashna Kumar

 

A craftswoman believes women need to empower themselves as they grow and the three-day National Women’s Expo is one such platform they can do this.

Ana Sikoa, 67, says the expo also provides a market for women to be able to sell their handicraft.

Ms Sikoa, from Yaqeta, Yasawa, is one of the 340 exhibitors at the 2018 Fiji National Women’s Expo held at the FMF Gymnasium in Laucala Bay, Suva.

“I have been weaving and making handicraft from various resources we have around us to make it look unique and beautiful,” she said.

“I was very small when I first learned about handicrafts and since then I have been making it for many years now.

“When I first participated in the expo, I was not sure if my wares would be sold and if I would get other market buyers. But the expo opened up opportunities for me to connect with the right people to ensure my products were sold in markets and handicraft shops.”

She is the sole breadwinner in a family of seven and has been a fixture at the expo since it was established in 2014. Her participation at the expo encouraged her and her family to continue with their artwork and talents, which helped her family in sourcing income for their living.

She said the expo was a great platform for her to seek markets and buyers who are interested in buying handmade handicrafts, especially when it’s from the rural communities.

Another exhibitor Seruwaia Batule, 59, of Mudu Village in Koro Island, said her handicrafts were recognised by the ministry in the mini expos held around the country before she participated in the Fiji National Women’s Expo in 2014.

She said since her first participation, which was a huge success for her, she has been participating every year because it connected her with people.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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