Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, has been voted Samoa Observer’s Person of the Year for 2016. In a year where the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) claimed a landslide victory during the General Election, Fiame’s appointment as the first woman Deputy Prime Minister in Samoa and the Pacific region capped off what has been a massive year in the push for gender equality not only in Samoa but also throughout the world.
Fiame’s rise represents the journey of the women of Samoa over the years. But it also speaks of how far ahead Samoa is at in the region in terms of women leadership.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment was among many outstanding nominees recommended by members of our community for this honour.
The Samoa Observer staff and management discussed the recommendations and the decision was made to choose additional individuals as our "People of the Year." The truth is that there are many other outstanding individuals who are not on this list. But it is impossible to have everybody included.
For today, we are highlighting the stories of just some of the people and a couple of groups who have made a huge difference.