NGO calls for focus on rural women

femLINK Pacific executive director Susan Grey speaks during the CSO COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Media Conference in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

FemLINKpacific says the welfare and development of rural women should be a key focus of the 2020-2021 National Budget.

Executive director Susan Grey said the women’s organisation highlighted this in its national budget submission. She said the submission raised some of the collective struggles women from rural communities in Nadi and Ba faced over the past year.

She said after conducting their first set of rural women’s forums in Ba, Nadi and Lautoka in June, femLINKpacific decided the needs of rural women amid the COVID-19 pandemic should be addressed in the national budget.

“These convenings cover a wide range of topics under the seven pillars of human security and the diverse women involved represented over 500 organisations with thousands of members who are mostly women,” Ms Grey said.

“Participants represent a range of religious beliefs, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQI community.

“Our focus groups are rural women, including market vendors and working women, elderly persons and persons with pre-existing health conditions, persons living in poverty, with disability and the LGBTQI groups.”

She said the Lautoka and Nadi Rural Women’s Network had been instrumental in raising rural women’s issues that needed government attention.

The 2020-2021 National Budget will be announced on July 17.

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