Women entrepreneurs were encouraged to take serious and meaningful actions to build their resilience against corruption.
FICAC Deputy Commissioner Mr Rashmi Aslam shared these sentiments at the launch of the Anti-Corruption Toolkit for Women-Owned Micro, Small and Medium Businesses in Fiji yesterday.
While speaking at the launch, Mr Aslam elaborated how women entrepreneurs could drive the change in the fight against corruption as they are not immune to its effects and may be perceived as more vulnerable when dealing with corrupt officials.
“Informal payments and other types of favours, including sexual favours, solicited by corrupt public officials perpetuate far more serious repercussions particularly to women entrepreneurs than their male counterpart, he said.
He emphasized that not being aware of the laws and their rights as women in business makes them easy targets and places them in a disadvantageous position in the competitive world of business.
“The time is now to take serious and meaningful actions to empower women entrepreneurs and build resilience to fight corruption, he stressed.
Mr Aslam added that the toolkit provides essential guidelines to understand the issue of corruption in Fiji.
“It will take you through the anti- corruption laws of Fiji, guide you to identify the high-risk areas of your respective business operations and will also impart you with the basic mechanisms to conduct corruption risk assessments.”
He assured the women entrepreneurs of FICAC’s continued support and commitment to help them build ethical businesses that will thrive.
“FICAC has the ability to provide awareness and specialised training programs to women entrepreneurs in MSME throughout Fiji and can also assist you to conduct advance corruption risk assessments and also work with you to build integrity and business ethics through our corporate integrity pledge program.”
The toolkit was designed and coordinated through partnerships with FICAC, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) and the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) by the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) Project.