The First Lady, Madam Filomena Katonivere has encouraged local artisans to gain as much as exposure and empowerment as possible to make creative choices.
While officially launching the National Craft Exhibition in Nausori, she said economic empowerment further enables women to be financially independent with the ability and the strength to influence and advocate for issues that affect them and their families.
“Our women and our families have been economically empowered daily now more than ever, to make more strategic life choices, exercise control and provide more opportunities especially when they face difficult economic situations.”
Artisans from across the country gathered at the Old Nausori Municipal Market to showcase their craftwork and market their products that ranged from traditional crafts and pottery, handmade jewellery, pot plants, western-inspired items and artifacts made from recycled items.
Madam Katonivere encouraged women groups, Soqosoqo vaka Marama, provincial offices, relevant Government Ministries, youth groups and stakeholders on the protection of Fiji’s craftsmanship and ensuring that proper platforms are provided to allow the transmission of traditional knowledge as it is now crucial more than ever.
“We need to continue progressive dialogue focused on protection mechanisms for the culture and creative industry and implement them so that we are protecting this important sector within the wider scope of the tourism industry.”
The 4-days exhibition will close on Saturday 12 August and members of the public are invited to have a glimpse of the talents and extraordinary craftsmanship the artisans have on display.