16 Sep 2011

Samoa plans law changes to get more women into Parliament

5:31 pm on 16 September 2011

The Samoa government is drafting law changes to get more women into Parliament.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says cabinet's instructed the Attorney General's office to draw up amendments to the Electoral Act.

Sally Round reports

"He says Samoa, like other Pacific Island countries, is lagging behind on women's representation in Parliament. Just two MPs in Samoa's 49 seat house are women, down from four before the last election. The Prime Minister has not revealed the proposed changes, but he says the law should be flexible to encourage women to run for office. Tuilaepa says he wants Samoa to be the role model for other Pacific Islands. He says if Samoa makes changes now, a better balance between men and women in Parliament could be achieved by 2015, the target date for the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals."