Conference provides platform for inspirational experiences

A conference focusing on women empowerment was convened yesterday in Apia, where the participants were encouraged to share stories of their experiences and support each other.

The meeting was organised by non-profit group Brown Girl Woke (BGW) in partnership with American Samoa Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. The conference facilitator’s objective was to promote women in sports.

Speaking to Chrioni Posini, who heads the National University of Samoa’s BGW club, she said the aim of the conference was to give importance and support to members of the Women in Sports group. 

“In support of Women in Sports, we are here to pretty much do their campaign, up until the International Women’s Day. They are spending 10 days to empower their local girls, and so we’re here to help them share their stories, and be more comfortable because a lot of them have stories to tell.

“Just showing that they have potential and using their talent in sports to empower them and so today we had a lot of team building exercises,” she said.

Although the event focused on women empowerment, there were male participants, predominantly from the University of South Pacific (USP). 

Ms.Posini said men are welcome to support female empowerment, “to help them come and learn and understand what they can do and help support us as girls.”

Victory Tuala-Tamalelagi, 19, who leads the USP BGW club, said they are participating as they want to show their moral support for women. 

“We want to paint a picture saying ‘You’re not alone’ that there are also men out there that feel for you and are willing to support you women.

“Because at the end of the day there is a saying, ‘this is a man’s world, but it is nothing without a woman’, so that’s why we are here we just want to let them know, not all men are the same,” he said.

Conference participants also included girls from local women’s rugby and soccer clubs and BGW university club representatives from all around Samoa. 

Saelua Seleti Leaula, 21, who represents Apia Maroons rugby club, said the event was an eye opener for her and her teammates attending the conference. 

“In terms of us women in sports – we need to know the sort of life that is outside of sports also – we need to go against violence against women, we need to be vigilant because violence comes in all forms, even in sports,” she said. 

Yesterday’s conference was a part of the Women in Sports 10 Days of Activism as part of the International Women’s Day – which is celebrated on March 8 – which falls this Friday.

Brown girl Woke is a non-profit organization that was found by Maluselu Doris Tulifau with a mission to inspire, educate and empower young females to lead initiatives to create productive and healthy communities.

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