More boys are dropping out of school than girls.
This has been highlighted by the Permanent Secretary of Education, Selina Kuruleca, sharing the latest data by the Fiji Education Staff Appointment (FESA).
Kuruleca says the statistics is quite concerning on the educational and workforce trends in Fiji, a notable disparity between boys and girls.
She says high school completion rates for girls in Fiji stand at an impressive 97 per cent however, the situation for boys is less optimistic, with only 79 per cent completing high school.
Kuruleca also notes that there is a significant gender imbalance in higher education enrollment, with 60-65 per cent of students being female.
The report highlights another significant issue, despite their educational achievements, women face significant challenges in entering the workforce.
Kuruleca emphasizes that women’s workforce participation in Fiji stands at just 45 per cent, while men’s participation is notably higher at 82 per cent.
“Where are the women going? Is it something to do with our culture? Is it something to do with migration? Is it marriage? Is it mobility? Is it completing studies that are not relevant? Because it’s not industry-driven. In the workforce, 20% of women are judges and magistrates, 55% doctors, 54% of women are civil servants, or the civil servants task force, 54% are women. Chief Financial Officers, only 25% are women. CEOs in Fiji only 10% are women.”
Moreover, the report sheds light on a troubling aspect of Fiji’s gender dynamics – the prevalence of gender-based violence.
Kuruleca stresses an alarming 61 per cent of survey respondents reported experiencing intimate partner violence, emphasizing the need for further action to protect and support victims.
She adds that the gender situation in Fiji remains fluid, with no clear-cut trend and while girls are succeeding in education, this achievement does not always translate into workforce participation or protection from violence.