NATION

Mere Samisoni: Our Police Women Encouraged To Take Leadership Roles

Each one of you will be expected to do your bit to ensure during such times when crime is expected to spike because of the increased social challenges, you are able to cope physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
07 Nov 2019 15:08
Mere Samisoni: Our Police Women Encouraged To Take Leadership Roles
Dr Mere Samisoni. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Businesswoman Mere Samisoni says she looks forward to the day when Fiji will have its first female Commissioner of Police.

“Why not? And who says we cannot do it,” she said.

Using herself as an example, she said women could achieve anything they wanted

The Hot Bread Kitchen owner made the remarks at the Fiji Police Women’s Network workshop 2019 on leadership for women Police officers at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva.

The theme for the two-day workshop is ‘Encouraging More Women Leaders.’

“Police work is perhaps one of the toughest jobs anyone can sign up for,” she said

“As a businesswoman, we look to the force as a source of protection and safe-keeping, not only for our own lives, but also for the protection of our properties and markets.

“The kind of life you are exposed to daily in your work cannot be understated.

“Your love of country over self, has to be a driving force in your everyday lives.”

She said to become a leader in the Police Force as a woman “is no mean feat!”

“That makes you all as senior Police officers exceptional people! You have made your presence felt in an otherwise male dominated environment, and for that, you must be commended and encouraged to continue to break glass ceilings accordingly,” she said.

“As leaders, the benchmarks by which we must aspire continue to be raised daily.

“In recent months, we have monitored how the global financial environment seems to be contracting in many places and subsequently, Fiji is likewise exposed to such vulnerabilities.

“Each one of you will be expected to do your bit to ensure during such times when crime is expected to spike because of the increased social challenges, you are able to cope physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”

She said women faced many aspects of leadership challenge.

She said the prejudices they faced were issues of cultural inhibitions, family commitments, sexual discrimination, human trafficking, increased abuse and violence.

“As a businesswoman and a political and community leader, I have not been immune from all these various forms of prejudices personally, so I absolutely understand what we as women leaders face,” she said.

“So how do we overcome all these challenges and become effective leaders of this modern 21st century?

“At this juncture, I wish to share briefly my own life’s journey to becoming a successful indigenous Fijian business entrepreneur.”

The business she founded with her late husband Dr Jimione Samisoni, the Hot Bread Kitchen was established in Fiji 37 years ago, she said.

Now the company has over 26 shops all around Fiji, and employ over 700 employees and plans to increase this total by 100 percent in the next two to three years.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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