By Luke Nacei in Suva
It is the duty of men to uplift women and not undermine them or stand in their way, says Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
“Women are leaders. They are Fiji and it is our duty as men to uplift them, not undermine them or stand in their way,” Bainimarama said at an International Women’s Day celebration.
“Women are mothers, sisters, and wives, and they are CEOs, entrepreneurs, and managers.
“They are daughters, granddaughters, and nieces, and they are Olympic medal winners, civil servants, and ministers.
“We have always believed that women’s empowerment is the key to building a better country.”
Bainimarama said free education had put more girls in Fiji’s classrooms and that open-merit recruitment had put more women in leadership within the country’s civil service.
“Social support — like vouchers for rural pregnant women and free sanitary pads for students — has put security in women’s lives.
“And our laws punishing domestic violence have put offenders who abuse women behind bars.
“Today, on Women’s Day, we celebrate that progress knowing we have much more work to do to break gender biases and level the playing field in our society.
“So, as we acknowledge the achievements women in Fiji have made and are making, we recognise that true equality is a never-ending pursuit.
he also thanked the swomen who made up half of the staff of the Prime Minister’s Office for the effort in seeking to “modernise Fiji, empower all Fijians, and leave no one behind”.
Luke Nacei is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.