The participants to the 19th training session of the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality project with Samoa Victim Support Group on the economic empowerment of nofotane women shared a feeling of appreciation for being empowered themselves through the project.
According to one elderly who is the village mayor of Poutasi “Fa’afetai i le polokalame ua a’oa’oina ai matou, o lenei ua matutua ae o se taimi muamua lenei ua a’oa’oina ai i vaega taua e lagolagoina ai le fa’aaupegaina o tina nofotane.”
Says he “I am thankful to this program as I am getting old, yet for the first time, have learnt about the importance of supporting the empowerment of nofotane women.” Auseuga F. Meleisea
The training was held at the LDS Church Conference Room at Tafatatafa. A total of 66 SVSG village representatives from 11 villages of the Falealili constituency including Saleilua, Poutasi, Vaovai, Matautu, Tafatafa, Malaemalu, Satalo, Sapunaoa, Siuniu, Salani and Utulaelae, successfully completed the 3-days session to improve capacity to advocate for support and the importance of women’s economic empowerment.
The session at Falealili is amongst the most popular in Upolu with the highest number of participants recorded due to the interest from both village and church leaders to attend.
Other participants commented that the sessions should have covered a whole week due to the importance of the message.
“This training should be scheduled for 5 days instead of 3 because it is about an important issue, and changing leaders’ mindset about the recognition and treatment of nofotane is an effective way of bringing about the necessary change for gender equality.” Bishop Apinati Fili, Tafatafa
“A nofotane woman 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, as these are some of the most important contributing factors to achieving gender equality.” Siliniu Lina Chang, SVSG President