15 Mar 2011

New Fiji women's centres to encourage rural women, says minister

1:54 pm on 15 March 2011

The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation in Fiji is hoping the establishment of new women's centres in rural settlements will encourage women in those areas to step up into leadership positions.

Dr Jiko Luveni announced in December plans to establish 20 women's centres throughout the country by 2013.

She says women in urban areas tend to be reluctant to sit in big decision making committees so the ministry is focussing more on women in rural areas.

"We have opened up opportunities for anyone who is interested to serve in these communities to submit to us their expression of interest including their CVs and we haven't received any. So we're now working at community level and village level to get the women in rural areas to serve decision making bodies in the rural areas."

Dr Jiko Luveni says a pilot women's centre was set up last May and one is now under construction in the Lau group, with more centres to be built in the provinces of Nadroga, Cakaudrove, Tailevu and Ba this year.