Raising Women’s Status Is Top Priority: PM

Elevating the status of women in Fiji is Government’s top priority, says Prime Minis­ter Voreqe Bainimarama.
28 Nov 2021 18:14
Raising Women’s Status Is Top Priority: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Fiji National University lecturer Sereana Naulivou, guests and graduates of the rural women entrepreneurship pilot training project at Nairukuruku, Matailobau, Naitasiri on November 26, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Elevating the status of women in Fiji is Government’s top priority, says Prime Minis­ter Voreqe Bainimarama.

He made the statement when of­ficiating at the first Rural Entre­preneurship Women’s Training on Friday.

Sixty women from six villages in Matailobau District in Naitasiri were the first to graduate from the programme on Friday which was hosted by the Fiji National Uni­versity and funded by the iTaukei Trust Fund Board.

Mr Bainimarama said Govern­ment’s aim was to make women equal by providing opportunities for education and economic ad­vancement and to reduce inequali­ties between rural and urban resi­dents.

This is achieved by providing bet­ter infrastructure in rural areas and creating more opportunities for rural residents to develop busi­nesses and marketable skills.

“If Fiji is to reach its true poten­tial, we need the talents of all the Fijian people, not just the 50 per cent who happen to be male,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Women have been making their mark in Fiji for a long time, but that is accelerating now under my Gov­ernment’s objectives.

“More women are graduating from universities and entering pro­fessions, more women are starting businesses, and more women are taking responsible positions in gov­ernment and the private sector and more women are given protection under the new laws from sexual as­sault and violence.”

The programme

Women who enrol for the courses take up hairstyling, screen print­ing, sewing, jewellery making among other skills.

Mr Bainimarama congratulated the women for utilising their new­ly-learned skills to earn an income and support their families.

Participants attended online classes and training sessions dur­ing the pandemic and used mobile applications and other e-learning platforms provided by FNU during the second wave of the pandemic.

“It proves how important Govern­ment’s Digital Transformation Pro­gramme is to rural communities. But it also proves how resilient, de­termined and adaptable the Fijian people can be when they have the right opportunities,” he said.

The training modules will be rep­licated in other provinces in Fiji.

Dean for the College of Humani­ties and Education Professor Dr Un­aisi Nabobo-Baba said the dream to better skill rural women have come to realisation with the graduation ceremony.

She acknowledged government’s support and thanked the women for their participation.

The women who participated in the programme were from Navuni­yasi, Taulevu, Delaitoga, Nabena, Matailobau and Nairukuruku Vil­lage.

Government has set aside 5000 scholarships for Technical and Vo­cational Education and Training (TVET) next year.

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