Education is the key to equality, according to Rev. Keneti Leaupepe.
“Teach our children to work hard in school, so that when they grow up, they will have a job, they will not suffer, they will have a voice,” he said.
This was the opening address from the leader of the C.C.C.S Savaia Lefaga, during the 7th training session of the S.V.S.G Village Representatives so that they can advocate to the village leaders, to support the economic empowerment of women, as a means of achieving gender equality.
Close to 30 S.V.S.G Village Representatives from the Lefaga and Faleaseela constituency, including Savaia, Tafagamanu, Safaatoa, Matautu, Faleaseela and Matafaa gathered at the Savaia Uta C.C.C.S Hall, to be trained on how to effectively advocate for the empowerment of women, as part of the S.V.S.G and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality Project.
Some of the matai’s commented on “the issues affecting nofotane not included in the matters discussed in the village council meetings, until the Project has brought the issue out in the open.” according to Ia Luamata Tavini of Tafagamanu.
Still others believe that “the word nofotane, was part of the foundation of a Samoan family.”
Lemalu Faomuina Shirley of Matautu Lefaga says “O le upu lea o le nofotane, ou te talitonu o le upu na faavae mai ai aiga Samoa.”
These mixed views were discussed and shared amongst the trainers and trainees of the Advocacy Training at Savaia Lefaga. Included as trainees were two church leaders from the CCCS Savaia uta and the Methodist Church of Tafagamanu.
SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang once again acknowledged the support from the leaders of the constituency in addressing gender equality issues affecting our mothers. “Faafetai lava i taitai o le itumalo o Lefaga & Faleaseela mo la outou lagolagosua i le galuega.”