If there is one thing that many would agree with, it is the fact that women are resilient.
They do not let challenges hold them back from ensuring their family’s needs are met. And no matter how difficult things appear to be, women have the innate ability to make even the most trying of tasks seem possible.
Take for instance the challenges Senimilika Digia of Nadavacia Village in Nakorotubu, Ra, faces.
To make ends meet, the 67-year-old transports her produce from Nadavacia to the Capital City to sell at the Suva Municipal Market.
Despite the struggles with road accessibility issues, she manages to get the job done.
And the first step of her journey begins on horseback.
Ms Digia basically transports her vegetables from her village to the main road on horseback.
“I travel to the Suva market on days I have a lot to sell when I have vegetables in large quantities,” she said.
“Every Monday I begin preparing myself for what I have to take to Suva on Thursday.
“I normally sell pears (avocado), bananas, vudi and cassava and these would all be picked or uprooted on Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday I bring them to Suva.”
Ms Digia’s weekly travels to Suva begin early Thursday morning and she returns to her village on Saturday.
“A big challenge for us in Nadavacia is transport. “Hardly any vehicle reaches our village and we have to use horses to take our vegetables and rootcrops to the main road — the trip takes 20 minutes.
“Most times four of us, all women, travel from Nadavacia to the main road. We leave at 5.30am by bus and reach Suva around 10.30am.
“And my travel is quite expensive because my busfare is $10 one way and I also have to pay $2 a bucket for vegetables and fruit and $5 a bag for rootcrop.
“I live with my daughter in the village and my son-in-law helps me bring my vegetables and produce to the main road.
“We have a farm in the village, my son-in-law looks after that and my job is to sell the vegetables and rootcrops in Suva.”
Ms Digia said the only advice she could give women was for them to make productive use of their time and contribute to the well-being of their family.
“By getting into farming, we are able to afford things for our family instead of just staying home and doing nothing.”