P.M. Fiame elevates all Pacific women

By Adel Fruean 23 May 2021, 10:00AM

The success of Samoa’s incoming woman Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, has been hailed by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (F.W.C.C.) as a victory for women across the Pacific. 

The F.W.C.C. is a non-government organisation that offers counseling and legal, medical, and practical support to women and children victims of violence in Fiji.

In a statement on Friday, the F.W.C.C. congratulated Samoa’s incoming Prime Minister, Fiame of the Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party for the election victory.  

The organisation welcomed the conclusion of a tough election battle, a five-week political deadlock and numerous legal challenges, ending with Monday’s unanimous verdict reached by a panel of justices of the Supreme Court, paving the way for Fiame to become the country's first female Prime Minister.

“As [a long serving] Member of Parliament, [Fiame] was Samoa's first female Cabinet Minister, and from 2016 to 2020 served as Samoa’s first female Deputy Prime Minister,” read the statement.

It also added that Fiame also served as the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific and was the President of the National Council of Women. 

“Like her parents, [Fiame] has served the Samoan people through various natural disasters, political upheavals and a global pandemic – and has done so focusing on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law."

The F.W.C.C.'s Coordinator, Shamima Ali, said that the win is a victory for Fiame, “for Samoa, for the women of the Pacific and for humanity.” 

Ms. Ali said the victory is a reflection of her strong, compassionate, caring and resilient leadership.

She also said as human rights diminish, including free speech and a free press and against the backdrop of stifling militarisation women in leadership positions are a beacon of hope.

Ms. Ali said women at leadership positions around the world have come up with extraordinary solutions to major problems, minimising its impact on their people and providing great comfort through tough times.

She congratulated the people of Samoa for letting good sense prevail and for voting with their hearts and mind.

“To all my fellow Pacific Islanders, this is what an independent judiciary and democracy looks like, and all our leaders should strive for this.”

The F.W.C.C. and the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women expressed their "congratulations to Samoa.”

By Adel Fruean 23 May 2021, 10:00AM
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