Rural women are leaders, entrepreneurs and service providers, and their contributions are vital to the well-being of families, communities and economies, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for the Fijian Government. 

This was highlighted by the Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta as he handed over 8 sewing machines during the visit of the REACH team at Natauloa village in Nairai for the women of Natauloa, Lawaki, Vutuna and Tovulailai  villages.

Dr Koroivueta said the key target was to provide opportunities to increase women’s active participation and to enhance their livelihood through an added platform. He encouraged the women’s groups to identify areas of need for economic empowerment and to reach out to the relevant stakeholders and ask for assistance.

Dr Koroivueta says the positive support of the men in the lives of their women and the Vanua was critical if women were to realize their full potential. 

President of Natauloa Women’s group Mrs Sereana Matanisiga  said the sewing machines were a blessing for the group members. She said the women will develop sewing skills and earn an income through tailoring.

Mr Eremasi Uluiviti ,turaga ni koro(Village headman for Natauloa), acknowledged the government’s continued effort to raise the profile of women in Fiji and also the presence of the REACH Team.

Dr Koroivueta also said that gender based violence is one of the main challenges  faced by women in every community in accessing services and economic opportunities.
He encouraged all families to support women, girls and children  within their homes foremost in encouraging strong, independent, resourceful and  progressive citizens  who can influence greater positive changes for themselves and those around them.

Dr Koroivueta acknowledged the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion for Rural and Urban Fijians Project (REACH)  team for being part of this official tour highlighting the importance of the services that the key partners of the Project deliver for the Fijian people. 
The stakeholders  who were part of the REACH program in the Gau Trip are the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Legal Aid Commission, Medical Services Pacific, Births, Deaths and Registration Office, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Fiji Cancer Society, Fiji Election Office and Fiji Consumers Council Competition. This program was also supported by the Provincial Administrator and the District Officer for the District. 

Dr Koroivueta said some Fijians weren’t aware of the services that were made available to them by the Government due to geographical isolation and physical challenges. 


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