Women market vendors want greater inclusion in decision making so that they are empowered to create safer workplaces during bad weather.
Ms Adi Bale, a market vendor in Nadi for more than a decade and panellist at this week’s Pacific Resilient Meeting (PRM) in Suva, said the establishment of a dedicated disaster committee at her market, has resulted in a more secure environment.
“I feel much safer, now that we have a market disaster committee,” she said.
Mrs Bale spoke of the need for stakeholders to work with rural women and to include women in decision making and said she had been a market vendor most her life but was not recognised in her role as a market vendor.
“Not until UN Women came and started including us in their project, we came to learn a lot of things from the project”, she said.
‘Market for change’ has been established in three countries in the Pacific, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
In Fiji, Mrs Bale said they have established a disaster committee for their market in Nadi, which had really helped the vendors there.
“For example, the market master provided continuous update about the weather over the PA system,” she said.
Vendors are made aware of the conditions beforehand and Mrs Bale said it enables them to make informed decisions during bad weather.
She said she felt good being part of the consultations for the development of Nadi market so that vendors can have a safe and secure environment.
Mrs Bale hoped other stakeholders would assist vendors like her through the councils and municipal authorities of the respective markets.
The PRM brought together stakeholders from all sectors across the pacific to share knowledge and information on the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP).
This is the first meeting of its kind since the FRDP was endorsed in 2016. The inaugural PRM is held in Suva, Fiji from 1 – 3 May, 2019.