THERE is a staggering imbalances in the Pacific economies between women and men which clearly reflects why progressing gender equality has been slow, more so this year which is critical to the Pacific’s sustainable economic development.
And every single woman in their own countries, in their own communities, in their own clans and families need to walk the talk and make sure that they enjoy the same economic rights as men.
Kiribati Vice President Teima Onorio while addressing the delegations at the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and Sixth Meeting of Pacific Ministers for Women said there was solid evidence that an increase in women’s economic empowerment wouldl lead to economic growth.
“With simply can’t afford to leave out or in some cases exclude half the population out of our economies,” Ms Onorio said.
“It is bad economic policy no matter which way you look at it.”
According to Ms Onorio, women are definitely taking the lead in the Private Sector in Kiribati.
The major private businesses are all owned by women and all the daily stalls selling food and clothes are run by women.
The chamber of Commerce records show an increase of women’s individual businesses, 1116 for females and 875 males.
In the public sector, 44 percent of the total workforce is female and 38 percent is male.
In Kiribati, women from nearby outer island travel daily to the capital by boats to sell their local foods.
They have no time to sit in markets and wait for people to buy their products but walk around with their heavy buckets of food door to door at offices and homes.
“We can never imagine what these women go through but we acknowledge their courage, sacrifice and hard work just to earn for her family,” she added.
Since women make up more than half of our population, Kiribati Government strongly support the focus on empowering women as it makes good economic sense, strengthens economic development, foster economic growth and nation building.