Funding support to empower women

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PRESIDENT S.V.S.G: Siliniu Lina Chang.

PRESIDENT S.V.S.G: Siliniu Lina Chang.

UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (F.G.E) yesterday announced that the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G) has received a grant to implement the two year programme entitled “Economic Empowerment of Nofotane Women in Rural Samoa”.

The Fund is UN Women’s global grant-making mechanism dedicated to the economic and political empowerment of women worldwide. 

Guided by UN Women’s mandate, the Fund provides technical and financial support to high-impact, innovative initiatives from women-led civil society organizations that demonstrate concrete results on the ground, especially for women in situations of marginalization.

The grant to S.V.S.G was awarded during the Fund’s 2015 grant-making cycle, through which UN Women has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting and strengthening women’s organizations as catalyzers of change and as critical players to achieve gender equality and the sustainable development agenda. 

S.V.S.G was one of 24 top-quality programmes selected to be implemented in 2016-2018; these new programmes are due to reach more than 325,000 direct beneficiaries, of which 45 per cent come from low-income countries and approximately 53 per cent are based in fragile states.

The F.G.E funded SVSG programme plans to empower nofotane domestic workers in Samoa by strengthening their understanding of their rights and advocating for formal recognition of their work. 

Nofotane women will improve their access to sustainable employment and increase their participation and leadership. 

S.V.S.G President Siliniu Lina Chang adds, “Nofotane will always be nofotane; the programme is not attempting to change this cultural aspect of the FaaSamoa. The programme merely aims to improve the economic empowerment of women, and to increase their participation in domestic and community matters.” 

In order to achieve these goals, S.V.S.G will include an important strategy of working with men and boys across 166 villages in Samoa. 

Indeed, “in order to shift discriminatory attitudes towards marginalized women like the Samoan nofotane it is crucial to engage men and boys and community leaders in dialogue geared towards broader support for these women’s economic and political empowerment” says Caroline Horekens, the Fund’s Regional Specialist for Asia and the Pacific.

UN Women has provided support to S.V.S.G previously via the UN Women Pacific Regional Ending Violence against Women Facility Fund, which funded the 24hr National Help-Line 800-7874 and has provided counsel for thousands since its establishment in April, 2013. 

From 2011 – 2013, UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women funded the SVSG Stronger Communities Project to end violence against women in Samoa.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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