IT is ability and not disability that matters and those living with a disability can be as productive as able-bodied persons. This much was clear when a group of women living with disabilities showcased their handiwork and jewellery at the 9th Central Division craft show in Suva yesterday. At least five women living with disabilities are representing the Forum Disability Ministry in the two-day event that started at the Suva foreshore yesterday. Participating for the first time is Sarita Devi who said the show was very inclusive and they felt good about themselves. “We feel good and feel inclusive participating. At least you can see our products around and what we have produced,” Ms Devi said. “I would like to tell the people that they have to put negative thoughts about disability aside. “Women with disability can also produce and you’ll be surprised to see what they have produced and the talents they have.” She said their talents were gifts from God. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said in her opening address at the show the ministry was doing its best to find more ways of taking women’s income-generating initiatives from one level to another. “We are not only making monetary investments but also engaging in partnership with relevant stakeholders to help you stamp your mark in the food and craft industry,” Ms Akbar said. She added that half of Fiji’s population were women who made significant contributions to the rural economy but undervalued contributions in the national economy.
(Source: Ropate Valemei, Fiji Times, 23 July 2015)