The National Women?s Expo and Divisional Craft Show 2015 was officially launched today by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
The event was attended by government Ministers?, Permanent Secretaries, Diplomats, corporate organisations and women?s Non-Government Organisations.
Minister Akbar emphasized that the focus of this year?s National Women?s Expo will promote the production of export driven Fijian Made Products.
?The 2015 Expo theme ?Connecting Women to Markets – Make it Happen? is relevant and blends so well with the initiative of the Fijian Government. The 2nd National Women?s Expo will be staged at the Vodafone Arena from the 14th to 16th October 2015. In the Expo launching today, I also launch the divisional craft shows to be held throughout the 4 divisions.
?Instead of bringing all women?s groups to the capital, we are organizing divisional shows and competition. We want a smaller number for 2015 but, with tested, proven quality products that meet the standards set by the relevant authorities. My Ministry will work with the Fiji Arts Council to judge the handicraft. Each divisional craft show will have the Fiji Arts Council certified examiners examining the handiwork and winners will be picked. These winners from each divisional craft show will be guaranteed a fully sponsored spot at the National Expo in October,? Minister Akbar said.
The Ministry has also engaged an event?s organiser to plan and coordinate the National Women?s Expo 2015.
?Groups or individual women judged to have potential will be provided advice on how to better their products to be eligible for the ?Fijian-made? Brand and stand a chance of partial sponsorship. In partnership with the Fiji Arts Council and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we are assisting these rural artisans ready their products for ?Fijian-made? Brand. To make all of this happen needs an event?s organizer working with my team.
?It is our big intention that we will promote the business mindsets in our women and propel our talents and skills to the export market. The Fijian Government has given us new opportunities that were not there in the past. It is a gateway for self-reliance, raised self-esteem and confidence in women,? the Minister for Women reiterated.
The president of Shrest Mother?s Club, Mrs Savita Sharma acknowledged the Bainimarama Government for its vision on empowering women through a national event such as the women?s expo.
?The First National Women?s Expo 2014 was a milestone event, it was first ever opportunity for most of us to participate in a national event of such a nature that allows women like us who engage in small time livelihood projects to display our talents reflected through our products to such a large audience for a period of three days.
?We are extremely thankful to the Bainimarama Government for its commitment to the development of women. Today?s event is another proof of their commitment to providing sustainable and fulfilling programs for the women of Fiji,? Mrs Sharma said.