Village leaders including leading women, from the Fa’asaleleaga No. 2 constituency in Savai’i, gathered at Tuasivi, for the second consecutive session of training for S.V.S.G village representatives.
This is part of the S.V.S.G. and the U.N. Women’s Fund for Gender Equality Project currently underway, supporting the economic empowerment of nofotane (a woman who marries into a family) women.
Twenty five S.V.S.G. village representatives from seven villages including Siufaga, Salimu, Faga, Malae, Saipipi, Saasaai and Lano were empowered during the three-day session, on how to effectively advocate to their respective village councils, women’s committee and the villagers, to support the economic empowerment of nofotane women.
While the majority of the participants commented on supporting the improvement in the recognition and the participation of nofotane women that comes with being economically empowered, culturally, nofotane women should know their place in the community.
And S.V.S.G. fully supports these views; Nofotane women will always be a nofotane; the project is not attempting to change this cultural aspect of the FaaSamoa.
The project merely aims to improve the economic empowerment of women and to increase their participation in domestic and community matters.
This is because the capacity of women to bring about economic change for themselves, families and communities, is one of the most important contributing factors to achieving gender equality.
High chief from Saipipi, Feagai Fai commented on the role of the nofotane and the important role of the leaders in supporting and valuing them.
As the training programme to support the economic empowerment of nofotane women continues, S.V.S.G, is humbled by the support it has gathered to date.
“Thank you to all the trained S.V.S.G, village representatives for your commitment to the project and for being optimistic that we can make a difference in the lives of the nofotane women in Samoa,” said Siliniu Lina Chang, S.V.S.G. president.