Ministry of Women CEO sets record straight

The Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D.) has set the record straight on village curfews within non-traditional villages.

The Ministry's Chief Executive Officer, Afamasaga Faauiga Mulitalo, said one of the key responsibilities of Government representatives in the legislation is maintaining peace and harmony within villages and these could include the imposition of curfews.

This was her response to questions relating to a story titled "Lalovaea village representative slams curfew", where Peseta Demetrius Fogaseuga Taofiga expressed disappointment at the villagers of Lalovaea blocking the road during an evening curfew.

Afamasaga said in the traditional villages they have the male and female village representatives but for non-traditional villages like Lalovaea they have a (sui o le malo), which is a Government representative.

“We always put the message across during our monthly meetings with village representatives to try and look at ways to maintain peace and harmony within the communities wherever they are.

“It is because we have seen a lot of incidents involving young people in the town area, and it is a call for the leaders of the communities — not just Government representatives but also for church leaders — to please look into all the possible ways that we can maintain peace and stop violence.

“I guess that is one of the ways that the Lalovaea government representative looked at in maintaining peace, which was through a curfew because even in the traditional villages they are also doing curfews mainly to uphold peace and harmony and also bring back the old Samoan ways where families conduct evening prayers, which is usually the time for these curfews,” she said.

Afamasaga said there are many social issues arising and based on their consultations and community workshops, families do not participate in evening prayers anymore.

“Nowadays kids and parents go their own separate ways to do whatever they want, there is no time to sit down and continue that bond in making sure the kids are at home at the right time. No one wants to live in an environment that is violent and we want to make sure that peace exists in our villages. And one of the reasons why villages set up curfews it is due to cars racing on the roads, it is very dangerous.”

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