2 Jun 2004

Samoa to establish paid posts for women to serve as links to village communities

3:53 pm on 2 June 2004

Samoa is planning to establish women representatives of the government at village level, with the aim of strengthening community links.

Currently village mayors or pulenuu act as links between central government and villages.

Though chosen by matai in each village, pulenuu are paid by the government which intends creating similar posts for women.

The Minister of Finance, Misa Telefoni, says this is in recognition of the dynamic and important role of women in all spheres of development..

And, he says it will complement the role of the pulenuu.

Misa says the initiative will also ensure there is gender balance in the inter-face between government and village community.

Such appointees will be called Sui o le Malo or Representatives of Government.

Opposition leader Le Mamea Ropati says his Samoa Democratic United Party were surprised by the announcement and have yet to discuss it formally.

But, he has raised concerns about how it would be implemented.

Le Mamea says it's unclear how these women government representatives would be picked and he says they are also concerned that it might cause tensions within villages.