The Samoa Victim Support Group hosted a forum yesterday to discuss the Nofotane Project yesterday with the general public.
Held at the T.A.T.T.E. Building at Sogi, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Polataivao Schmidt, highlighted the importance of women.
“O le nofotane, o le paolo tama’ita’i. O le faiava, o le paolo ali’i, he said.
“That is the honorable way in the Samoan culture given to these people. All of us that have gathered here today, we are all paolo.
“O paolo e malu ai aiga. O paolo e maua ai gafa o aiga."
“Paolo are people to turn to for peace and safety and also to develop families, your children and your parents."
“That is why the government of Samoa gives their full support to this project because we want to emphasize this issue considering this is where the heart of unity for our country and families is found."
“The government also supports this because of the things that we have seen happening in other countries; where mothers and women do not have a voice."
“They have to fight in order to have that right in everything regarding families, churches including the decisions of the government."
“Now we have come to a point of life where we are emphasizing the importance of women all over the world and that is a main priority for our government now, to focus our attention to the significance of women in Samoa."
“We cannot undo what has already been done due to the many changes that we have come to face these days."
“Given the Samoa Victim Support Group has been a witness to the 85% of women or nofotane who have been victims of abuse, we must address this."
“A lot of these problems arise mostly because of arguments between a husband and a wife in their own family."
“It is not our duty to blame the male race when it comes to these situations because the point and the goal of this programme is to have a solution for this; to put an end to this matter."
“Nofotane has got a place in our Samoan structure and without a doubt, it’s one of the most respected person in the family but because of the 85% of what has been reported, we must address it so please give all the support that you can.”
La’aulialemalietoa acknowledged the President of S.V.S.G. and their organization as well as everyone else who took a part in implementing this project.
The country programme coordinator for UN Women in Samoa, Suisala Mele Maualaivao said “This is the main goal of our agency, to guarantee that our women are empowered through Gender Quality because we see equals in each other."
“Remember, you can be empower and still be humble. If someone serves you, you can treat them with respect and kindness."
“This programme has given up to U.S.$7.3million dollars all over the world but there’s only been one successful applicant and that is S.V.S.G so congratulations.”
The President of the Women’s Committee, Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o said that “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of U.N. Women and they are the reason why we are here today for this programme.”