Woman Member of Parliament empowered to inspire, encourage

By Yolanda Lavata’i 06 January 2019, 12:00AM

Member of Parliament, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tuuau, is a woman on a mission.

Having achieved her dream of becoming a Member of Parliament for her constituency, her goal is to inspire and encourage more women to take the journey with her so there are more women in decision-making positions in Parliament.

The Member of Parliament was one of 20 participants in the Transformational Leadership Development (T.L.D.P.) training last month.

“There is so much strength and experience in our women,” she said, adding that many of them have the potential to real meaningful changes in their communities.

But she said the transformational change must begin with women, themselves.

Speaking about her experience, Al’iimalemanu said her transformation to believing herself and her abilities to be the difference was “liberating and moving.” 

“In moving forward to women leadership, I had my own fears,” she said.

These included fear of failing, fear of being criticised, laughed at and many others.

But during her time in Parliament, she has learnt to overcome those fears.

Now she is determined as ever to encourage other women to overcome their fears and give Parliament a try.

“I wanted to make a difference,” she said. “If we really want to make a difference in settling issues like ending violence against women and gender based equality, then women should take ownership of becoming those courageous leaders, that will initiate the movement.”

She added that to make a change, the change must begin with you. She explained to the Samoa Observer the need for more women to be leaders of the nation.

The recent training targeted key community leaders, NGO representative and government personnel to develop a contextualised leadership programme to address the key women’s representation issues in Samoa. 

These include the low representation of women on boards, in Parliament, in village development committees and women matais.  

Organised and facilitated by Women in Leadership Samoa (WILS) Project, a three – year United Nations Joint project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Women (UN Women) Agency, with funding from the Australian Government and the Government of Samoa.  

At the end of the training, the participants were able to design an initiative supporting women and their leadership in Samoa using the TLDP methodology. 

By Yolanda Lavata’i 06 January 2019, 12:00AM

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