New economic opportunities for Fiji women
Last week, some 15 women from the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons’ sewing centre graduated after a three-month sewing training programme.<!--more-->
The initiative was a joint effort between the Fijian and Chinese governments and the private sector. The Chinese government provided the sewing machines.
Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni challenged the women to fully utilise the skills they learned and said that the newly acquired skills open another door of opportunity for them. “Utilising your skills and venturing into small businesses and employment would help improve their livelihoods,” she said.
Doctor Luveni reiterated that this will channel positive growth to the economy and serves as one of the ministry’s Millennium Development Goals of empowering women at community level. Private sector manufacturer United Apparel has offered to partner with the Ministry of Social welfare to employ these women.
Meanwhile, the government has embarked on a programme to create economic opportunities for women in Fiji, by opening new Women Resources Centres around the country. The construction of these centres is to be coordinated through the Fiji Women’s Federation (FWF) with a budgetary allocation of $1.6million.
The centres are to operate on a “One Centre, One Resource Concept”, with the villages taking ownership of using the centres as the hub for generating economic opportunities for the respective communities.