SUVA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Rural or village women were leaders, entrepreneurs, service providers, and their contributions were vital to the well-being of families, communities and economies, a Fijian minister said Monday.
Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa made the remarks at the opening of the Eastern Women's Capacity Building Workshop, urging for more efforts in empowering women citizens.
She said women were dedicated artisans and entrepreneurs who made efforts to provide the best for themselves and their families.
Vuniwaqa stressed the importance in striving to continue to promote women's economic empowerment and to create an equitable enabling environment for women in Fiji, who made up half the population.
She said failing to develop and empower half of Fiji's population would deny Fijians the wealth of diverse perspectives.
Vuniwaqa said Fiji could no longer let its women suffer in silence and reiterated that violence was one of the most severe, detrimental, and inhumane obstacles in the empowerment of women considering Fiji's statistics on violence against women.
She challenged Fijian women to establish support groups to look out for each other, report violence against women and ask their leaders to address issues that affected them.
One woman is left permanently disabled every day in Fiji as a result of violence from her husband or partner, research by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre showed earlier.