Samoa reaffirms its commitment to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and eliminating barriers, says Samoa Minister for Women Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molioo.

In her country statement, at the 68th UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York she said this include ending violence against women and girls through multi-stakeholder partnerships, gender-sensitive institutions and gender-responsive financing.

“In our pursuit of women empowerment and gender equality, Samoa wishes to highlight its Pathway for the Development of Samoa strategy, which puts emphasis on human development and the critical social issues,” Minister Mulipola said.

In 2021, Samoa implemented its District Development Program under the first ever District Development Policy Framework, she said.

“The District Development Programme (or the DDP) is a significant government initiative to align national and community-led development to its regional and international obligations.

“As of to date, the DDP has distributed financial and technical assistance to fifty one electoral constituencies to assist with their own community-led developments,” Minister Mulipola said.

She also highlighted the programme’s impact in various sectors such as agriculture, education, and health.

“It has enabled compulsory representation of women and youth in district councils across all the constituencies; with priority community level projects ranging from agriculture and fisheries, education, health, social well-being, environment and climate change to name a few,” she said.

She reaffirmed Samoa’s commitment to promoting women’s economic empowerment and creating enabling environments for their participation.

“We advocate for a holistic and innovative approach that promotes our values, customs and traditions and to accelerate progress towards women empowerment and gender equality – we reiterate Samoa’s commitment to uphold its responsibility to enhancing women’s economic empowerment and creating opportunities and enabling environments for women and girls to grow and realise their potential at all levels of society contributing to community and nation building and to assume leadership roles and freely participate in decision-making processes.

“In celebration of the International Women’s Day 2024 last week in Samoa, we resonated one of our renowned proverbs, “E au le ina’ilau a tama’itai,” emphasising the invaluable contributions by women if they are given the opportunities to excel and exemplify as leaders, at all levels,” Minister Mulipola said.