SUVA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said on Tuesday that the fisheries industry is one of Fiji's key resource-based sectors and the challenge at hand is creating equal opportunities for men and women who are employed formally and informally in this industry.
Vuniwaqa said this while launching the National Stock take of the Institutional and Enabling Mechanisms that Support Gender in Fisheries in Fiji.
Vuniwaqa said that women's small-scale economic activities are not seen as independent economic ventures and their marketing participation is viewed as part of their daily chores of meeting family needs.
Women fishers are still expected to fulfill their traditional duties and obligations while having to keep up with modern market economy demands, she said, adding that women in Fiji are increasingly moving away from traditionally defined areas of fisheries participation and are taking on commercial and post-harvest activities, and setting up small-scale businesses.
She said the role of today's women fishers has expanded and concerted efforts are required to change this in order to translate their unrecognized economic activity into sustainable ventures for economic development.
Fiji cannot afford to let women fishers remain invisible, she said, urging women to work together to let women fishers enjoy the same resources and recognition as their male counterparts.