The Fiji National Women’s Expo has provided a magnificent platform for informal entrepreneurs, from all walks of life.
Indonesian Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Dr Yohana Yembise added that the event provided an excellent network for connecting rural women to markets.
She made the inspirational remark while opening the 2018 Fiji National Women’s Expo Rural Women Fashion Show at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva on Friday.
Dr Yembise, who is on her third trip to Fiji, was thrilled to see the arts, crafts, skills and talents of Fijian women during the expo.
She said women made up a large and growing share of the self-employed in Indonesia and yet they operated smaller and less productive enterprises, compared to their male counterparts.
She believed that supporting women entrepreneurs in Fiji was vital for economic growth.
“The role of women entrepreneurs is crucial, for the development and the revitalisation of the household, community and nation as a whole,” Dr Yembise said.
“We need to encourage women’s participation in the economy, particularly within the creative industry since their involvement elevates economic resilience and growth.
“Women should not hesitate to explore their economic potentials in order to concretely contribute to the national economic development.”
Dr Yembise said we are committed to increase welfare through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consisting of 17 goals and 169 indicators.
She said SDG Five stated gender equality and global development failed when Goal Five was not achieved.
“Goal Five consists of the elimination of discrimination against women, violence against women and children, fulfilment of reproductive rights.
“The appreciation of unpaid household work, women’s participation in politics and decision making, land rights ownership reformation and technology utilisation.
“However, not only at the fifth goal women and girls are clearly stipulated, but also in every goal, women are embedded and the measures of the achievement of SDGs should be able to show how women and men have developed and reach their welfare goals,” Dr Yembise said.
She said in the last decade, women were key performers in the effort to alleviate poverty.
“Speaking of the economy is also talking about women, because, women are agents of development who are needed in economic development,” Dr Yembise said.
“The empowerment of women in the economic field is one indicator of increasing welfare.”
She said household welfare improved as women gained access to education, property rights, freedom to work in the public sphere, and had independent incomes.