5 Oct 2017

Fiji conference helps women's trade

1:24 pm on 5 October 2017

The United Nations says a conference being held in Fiji this week is a chance for women leaders around the Pacific to boost women's economic power.

Triennial Conference - Overcoming Barriers to Women's Economic Empowerment

Maureen Sariki Photo: UN Women/ Caitlin Clifford

The UN Women's Markets for Change project is a six-year, multi-country initiative aiming to help make marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu safe and inclusive for women.

President of the Honiara Market Vendors Association in Solomon Islands Maureen Sariki said to improve inclusiveness bankers were asked to come out of their offices into the marketplace to design products to suit market vendors with a lower level of education.

She said the Bank South Pacific had since come to the market to open accounts and receive deposits and a machine is now at the market for vendors to access cash.

Women's economic empowerment specialist Preeya Ieli said another example of progress were the accommodation centres at markets which can house rural women who come to markets to sell their produce over the weekends, giving them a safe place to stay rather than sleeping in the open next to their stalls.