When I read many of the articles on-line by Fiji journalists I am amazed and annoyed that there is an assumption of ignorance by rural men and women, that they need to be taught, or shown how. Here is one where it is assumed that the women in Labasa need to be taught how to use sewing machines. Well, Fiji women CAN sew. A class is fine with a few new tricks such as cutting and designing, but already many women make their own clothes and clothes for their children. A sewing group has another function - socializing and that's good of course and they can pick up tips from one another just as much as from a teacher. Most Fiji Women are smarter than I am in designing and making clothes for sure.
From the Fiji Sun today:
A group of 12 unemployed mothers are attending a sewing class in Labasa. This is to help them in their livelihood. Fiji Multi-Ethnic Cultural Centre Labasa branch had begun offering sewing classes every Wednesday for women. This started two weeks ago simultaneously with the start of school Term Two.
Fiji Multi-Ethnic Cultural Centre Labasa branch administrator Prabha Naicker said all her students were unemployed mothers from various parts of Vanua Levu. “We have organised a sewing class to help women acquire sewing skills and use them to set up their businesses,” Mrs Naicker said.
She said the centre aimed to help the women generate income for their family and be self-sufficient. “Most of the women have sewing machines at home, but do not know how to use it well to sew beautiful clothes,” Mrs Naicker said. She said a sewing machine was a useful tool that could be used to generate income. “In the olden days, women used to sew their families’ outfits instead of buying them.”
Malia Koloa of Labasa, a participant, was happy with the course. “We are not only taught how to use sewing machines to sew clothes but also how to do cutting and designing,” Mrs Koloa said.