March 8th is International Women’s Day and the UN theme for this year is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality”. The theme calls for governments to make specific commitments for working towards gender equality and also links gender equality with all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
To mark the occasion, the Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa (IPPWS) programme and the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) invite all women who competed in the National Elections to an evening of celebration.
The event “Celebrating Women in Politics” will be held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, on Tuesday 8th of March from 6:30pm onwards and all women who ran for Parliament in 2006, 2011 and 2016 are welcomed to join. Afioga Fiame Naomi Mata’afa will be the keynote speaker while Afioga Congresswoman Aumua Amata, from American Samoa House of Representatives to the US Congress will be the guest speaker.
Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga, IPPWS Coordinator, pointed out: “It is the first time that IPPWS will partner with the Pacific Leadership Programme and we look forward to celebrating together with all the courageous women who stepped up and participated in the National Elections. Win or lose, on Tuesday we will be celebrating their efforts, their political commitment and their leadership.”
When interviewed, PLP’s Country Representative Lemalu Sina Retzlaff, said: “The Pacific Leadership Program supports developmental leaders to effect positive changes at the national level. Women's participation in shared decision making is a pivotal part of PLPs program objectives. Running within electorates that are not used to seeing women participate takes courage and commitment. The 24 women who participated should be celebrated for their courage. For the change to be sustainable, post-election continued and ongoing support is crucial.”
If you ran for office in 2006, 2011 or 2016 and have not received your invitation yet, please contact Suisala Mele Maualaivao on 772 8527 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Both the IPPWS and PLP are funded by the Australian Government and implemented in coordination with the Government of Samoa.