As Fijians around the country mark Rural Women’s Day, opportunities for their economic and educational empowerment continue to be a focal point of the Fijian Government.
“Apart from looking at climate change and disaster risk resilient projects, my ministry has women empowerment programs which at this stage focuses mainly on women in rural areas,” said Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, at Rural Women’s Day celebrations in Tavua.
“For the economic empowerment of women, the National Women’s Expo is a platform that brings together hundreds of women annually to show case their talents with the artefacts they produce.
“To mitigate climate-related issues, the Ministry works in collaboration with foreign Governments for the construction of the Barefoot College that will see the training of more rural women as solar engineers for the use of alternative energy.”
Also highlighted was the excessive implications of climate change on their wellbeing and livelihoods. “The impacts of climate change, including access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas. Climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in terms of agricultural production, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and conflict, and climate-related issue.”
The Minister said that with 51 percent of humanity and 49 percent of the Fijian population comprised of women and girls, it’s critical that the needs, perspectives, and ideas of women, as well as of men, are included in climate action so as to create just, effective, and sustainable solutions.