Rokowati Has Faith In Ru­ral Women

Fiji Sun - - Nation - CHRIS­TINE NIKOLA Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika Feed­back: chris­tine.nikola@fi­jisun.com.fj

Voda­fone Hi­bis­cus Fes­ti­val con­tes­tant, Maria Rokowati, says ru­ral women are agents of eco­nomic change. The Ra na­tive is spon­sored by Suva Cen­tral Phar­macy. Ms Rokowati is one of the 12 con­tes­tants vy­ing for the queen’s ti­tle at this year’s week­long Voda­fone Hi­bis­cus fes­ti­val. “Em­pow­er­ing ru­ral women is not only about boost­ing their well-be­ing but their fam­i­lies, the com­mu­nity and the over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity of the na­tion,” Ms Rokowati said. Ms Rokowati who lives in Korovou Town, Tailevu, said the ma­jor­ity of ru­ral women make up the ven­dors do­ing busi­ness es­pe­cially on Satur­days at the Korovou mar­ket. How­ever, ru­ral women face is­sues like transportation, lim­ited ac­cess to health care and ed­u­ca­tion that hin­ders sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, she said. Ms Rokowati said more train­ing should be con­ducted in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in terms of fi­nance, agri­cul­ture and health. “Ru­ral women are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in par­tic­i­pa­tion in law mak­ing poli­cies, im­prov­ing food se­cu­rity in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor and are bid­ding en­trepreneurs,” Ms Rokowati said. The 23-year-old is cur­rently do­ing her Bach­e­lors of Arts ma­jor­ing in Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity at the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific. The fes­ti­val open­ing will be held on Fri­day at the FMF Dome and grounds in Lau­cala.

2016 Voda­fone Hi­bis­cus Queen con­tes­tant Maria Rokowati.

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