11 Oct 2006

Women in Fiji highly marginalised - ADB

2:57 pm on 11 October 2006

Women have been found to be the most marginalised segment of Fiji's population.

The Daily Post reports that this is the finding of the Asian Development Bank's Fiji Country Assessment Strategy launched in Suva last night.

The report says Fiji women are at a higher risk of poverty and destitution, both of which are associated with labour discrimination, and increasing divorce and separation rates.

The ADB's regional director, Sirpa Jarvenpaa, says most Fijian women lack inheritance rights to land, land rents and other major assets.

In terms of commerce in the rural areas, Ms Jarvenpaa says most women are unable to compete with cheap imported imitations although they are the major subsistence producers and small scale food and handicraft marketers.

She says twice the number of women compared with men suffer from nutrition related diseases associated with poor diets and poverty.

The ADB's regional director says much greater effort is needed to address food security and public health and promote the supply and consumption of locally grown food.