Stigma still a concern for female waste pickers

June 20, 2022 12:20 pm

Asinate Lewabeka.

The stigma that waste pickers face each day is a constant struggle.

This was raised during the opening of a wellness and literacy workshop for 14 women at Koronivia this morning.

64-year-old Asinate Lewabeka, of Vunato settlement in Lautoka, says in her 23 years of working as a waste picker at Lautoka landfill, she has faced all sorts of verbal abuse and ridicule from members of the public.

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She says, despite this, she pushes on to collect waste in order to earn an income for her family.

Waste Recyclers Fiji Pte Limited Chief Executive Amitesh Deo says the workshop was held in order to address concerns by female waste pickers during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

He says participants will undergo financial and legal literacy dialogue as well as a wellness program that will equip them for their line of work.

Twelve women from Vunato settlement in Lautoka and two women from Suva are part of the one-week workshop, which is organized by Waste Recyclers Fiji and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center.