Fiji can not leave behind half of the population and it needs a diverse and inclusive society.
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Lynda Tabuya, highlighted this while speaking at the Women Invigorating the Nation (WIN) Convention at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Tabuya says Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) and WIN Convention are not just creating space for growth and learning but are also a platform for amplifying the voice and impacts of women in business.
Tabuya says women's entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic growth and job creation that strengthens women.
She says WEBC and WIN Convention is a determination of Fijian Women entrepreneurs where women can achieve incredible things together.
The Minister says there are significant challenges from climate change, health crisis, and gender-based violence.
She says women and girls empowerment is fundamental to addressing such issues, whereas rebuilding the economy is possible by promoting equal rights and sustainable development.
She adds that women's rights is a powerful force for change, and the remarkable progress of women's rights is visible.
The Minister says the upcoming Fiji Country Gender Assessment highlights that only 46% of women are in the labour force compared to 83% of men.
She says most working Fijian women are engaged in informal employment characterized by a lack of job security, irregular income and no social protection.
Tabuya says that Fijian women and girls are not well-positioned to secure jobs in emerging digital and technical fields.
Tabuya says the assessment also reveals that there are over 24,000 MSME's in Fiji, where only 19% of the registered business list are women owners, which indicates a significant disparity between the numbers of women-owned businesses in Fiji.
She says the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation will soon embark on a journey for Women's Economic Empowerment National Action Plan 2023 to 2028.
It will focus on several important areas such as women's economic empowerment, fostering women's entrepreneurship through a gender-responsive enabling environment and some others.
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