Life story

The Fiji Times » Elenoa paints her life story

As women from all walks of life celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) yesterday, Elenoa Kaisau, from Vanuavou, Vaturova in Cakaudrove took to painting to express her feelings about the need to make women living with a disability.

She painted a picture of how women like her were often isolated, at all levels of governance.

The community disability support worker was injured when she fell from a mango tree as a teenager. Since then, she has had to move around using a crutch.

A board member of Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei ni Cakaudrove, Ms. Kaisau believes that while IWD was an opportune time to celebrate and share women’s successes, it was equally important to talk about the barriers they faced.

“We women with disabilities always struggle to be included in the community,” Ms Kaisau said.

She participated in celebrations organized by the femLINKPacific office in Labasa, which included painting and participating in the media NGO’s suitcase radio show.

“The platform offered by femLinkPacific gives us the opportunity to make our voices heard on issues that matter to us,” said Ms. Kaisau.

She said most of the time women with disabilities were invisible and “stayed in isolation”. “Our participation in the community must be strengthened and for this we must have ownership of resources and the right to actively participate in economic activities,” she said.

“Our voices are still not heard effectively in the family, the community and in the world. ”

There needs to be more empowerment and capacity building activities so that we can break down the barriers. »

The femLINKPacific Labasa Program Manager, Sulueti Wati, said the office’s IWD 2022 activities focused on the importance of women in relation to gender equality, disaster risk reduction and climate change.

“Our main campaign theme was Break the Bias, which is important for us in trying to advocate for gender equality and break down biases in terms of women’s equal access to information,” Ms. Wati said.

She said w, has helped rural women living with disabilities to speak about their experiences and challenges and inform the public about some of the ways they are working together to overcome barriers that have hindered women’s progress.


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