ON DOU­BLE STAN­DARD IN IN­DUS­TRY

Fiji Sun - - Nation - EL­IZA KUKUTU Feed­back: el­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

Aso­ci­ety can only suc­ceed if all cit­i­zens have equal chances to flour­ish, says the United King­dom’s Min­is­ter of State for Asia and the Pa­cific, Heather Wheeler.

Dur­ing her visit to the Makoi Women’s Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Cen­tre yesterday she em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of women’s role in their com­mu­ni­ties, fam­i­lies and so­ci­eties.

“Women’s eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment is key to un­lock­ing de­vel­op­ment, but or­gan­i­sa­tions

like this cen­tre are only one part of the pic­ture,” she said.

“To re­ally suc­ceed, the pri­vate sec­tor, civil so­ci­ety and gov­ern­ment all need to work to­gether, which is ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing here with strong and in­no­va­tive part­ner­ships be­ing built by this cen­tre,” she said.

Mrs Wheeler was ac­com­pa­nied by the Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion, Mere­seni Vu­ni­waqa, when vis­it­ing some of the cen­tre’s fa­cil­i­ties. “The cater­ing kitchen and train­ing kitchen is su­perb. The idea that they can also have these skills and learn sewing to earn real money wher­ever they go and live makes such a dif­fer­ence,” she said. “The hy­dro­pon­ics, that is out­stand­ing.” She added the ex­pe­ri­ence it­self was an eye opener.

“I think it’s ex­cep­tional, the fact that it was pur­pose built. What I learn here I can ab­so­lutely take back to the UK,” Mrs Wheeler said.

She con­tin­ues her Pa­cific visit to­day where she heads to Tu­valu to at­tend the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum meet­ing.

The cater­ing kitchen and train­ing kitchen is su­perb. The idea that they can also have these skills and learn sewing to earn real money wher­ever they go and live, makes such a dif­fer­ence. Heather Wheeler The United King­dom’s Min­is­ter of State for Asia and the Pa­cific

Photo: UK in the South Pa­cific

The United King­don’s Min­is­ter of State for Asia and the Pa­cific, Heather Wheeler (front row, sec­ond from left), Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Mere­seini Vu­ni­waqa (front row, third from left), Bri­tish High Com­mi­sioner Me­lanie Hopkins (front row, fourth from left) with par­tic­i­pants from the Makoi Women’s Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Cen­tre.

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