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USP Lautoka Hosts International Women’s Day Celebration

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Chief Guest, District Officer Western Ruth Atu is garlanded at the celebration

Over a hundred people attended the International Women’s Day celebrations, jointly organised by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Lautoka Campus and Fiji Association of Women Graduates (FAWG) Western branch.

Held at USP Lautoka Campus on Thursday, 5th March, the event featured some very inspiring and moving presentations by distinguished guest speakers and the cutting of a cake to commemorate the event.

Addressing women present at the celebration, Chief Guest, District Officer Western, Ruth Atu said each of them had a unique experience that could inspire another woman and its positive effect would spread on, if done in good faith and with love.

Mrs Atu said despite the differences, there was far more that united women than divided them.

“We share a common future, and we are here to find a common ground so that we may help bring new dignity and respect to women and young girls, first in the city of Lautoka, and in so doing bring new strength and stability to families as well,” she said.

Mrs Atu also acknowledged local women’s contribution who had worked their way up the leadership ladder and are now serving the nation in various sectors - be it public sector, private sector or non-government organization. 

“We have seven women elected into parliament, women in statutory boards, managerial positions in key government posts and the list goes on. There is a lifetime of opportunities for women to pursue and excel leaving out the tradition that says a woman’s place is in the home or kitchen.”

FAWG West President Rajneesh Charan’s presentation was focused on their branch’s theme for the 2015 international Women’s Day celebration – “Empowering Women” and she spoke about empowerment at different levels, that is, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial.

“Better education and a global outlook has opened up a new world of opportunities for women in Fiji; economic necessity is also forcing women to opt for a career,” she said.

Ms. Charan also highlighted some interesting famous quotes about women and told her female audience that there were no limits to what they could achieve in life. “You have the power,” she said on a concluding note.

Professor Ajantha Parera spoke on the Role of Women in the Global Environment emphasising on women’s significant role of motherhood and their high expectation from the society.

She advised women to be aware of their potential and respect and love themselves.

“Before we change the world we need to change ourselves,” she said.

FAWG executive member Vasiti Soko focused on development of women through education, stressing there was a need to educate more women in Fiji and other Pacific Island countries.

“The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation,” she said.

“With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, and in our local context the female opposition in parliament as well as the first female speaker of the house – this makes me think women can work and have a family, women have real choices.”

There were quizzes, entertainment and refreshment for the participants.

This news item was published on 11 Mar 2015 10:44:44 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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