24 Jun 2010

Status of women in American Samoa to be raised at Constitutional Convention

10:28 am on 24 June 2010

One issue likely to be raised at the American Samoa constitutional convention is the status of women in the territory's villages.

The convention, which began on Tuesday includes 15 women, more than any previous constitutional Convention.

The Governor, Togiola Tulafono, had asked county councils not to select only matai or chiefs as delegates, but to also include women and youth.

One of the women delegates, Sarona Maae, says she wants to ask why some villages ban women matai.

"In many families there are no qualified full blooded people in there. And then the only reason that we can't move in to replace our families is because of the village rule. You know I respect the Fa'asamoa and all that but there should be some exceptions."