Anaseini Baleisasa at the Western Division Craft Show in Lautoka. Photo:SUPPLIED.
Women in the western division have lauded Government for showcasing their skills and talents to show to the global market through initiatives such as the National Women’s Symposium and Exhibition.
Speaking at the opening of the Western Division Craft Show, Irene Kumar of Balata Multicultural Women’s Group in Tavua said that she was grateful for today’s craft show as it is a stepping stone to better opportunities.
“Women have always been kept in the background for decades but what this Government has done is commended as it has given us an opportunity to showcase our talents and at the same time we are empowered and able to contribute positively to our families financially,” she said.
“Everyone has skills and talents but because of our culture, we have never been given opportunities such as this and we thank the government for its continued efforts in recognising the skills and talents of women.”
Mrs Kumar added that the craft show “has provided a platform for women to be recognised and be heard in the new Fiji”.
Over 700 women from 596 women’s groups from Lautoka, Sigatoka, Ba, Tavua, Ra and Nadi showcased their talents, skills and products.
With the Theme “Connecting Women to Markets: Making it Happen” women were not only able to sell their products but used the opportunity to further enhance their talents through networking.
“This has provided us an opportunity to also share information, ideas and network with various other women’s groups,” Mrs Kumar added.
65 – year – old Anaseini Baleisasa of Navunivi in Ra said that the event is a opportunity for the younger generation to also take interest in traditional weaving, carving and other talents that have been showcased through the events such as the Craft show.
“With modern technology, our youths are now into more advanced technologies and I fear that what their mothers and grandmothers used to do would be lost in the future and I hope these events would interest them to learn from their mothers and other women,” Mrs Baleisasa said.
The products at the Craft Show were assessed by the Fiji Arts Council and those selected for creativity and quality will be branded with “Fijian Made” products and later showcased at the National Women’s Expo2015 planned for October 14th to 16th in Suva.