10 Jul 2014

Tonga women encouraged to farm

2:50 pm on 10 July 2014

An agricultural project aims to change sexist attitudes that discourage Tongan women from farming.

A spokesperson for the Women in Agriculture Media project, Melesila Weilert, says farming is traditionally considered men's work but times are changing and women need to be empowered to pick up the shovel.

"Doing farming is kind of offensive when it comes to our culture because women are not supposed to do so but to me, that's what will make a difference, and that will change the mentality of women, to empower us to make a sustainable income for the village so people can afford to put their children in education."

Melesila Weilert says farming and selling handicrafts will add to the money sent back by family members overseas and help lift Tongan families out of debt.