12 Mar 2012

Separate electoral roll for Samoa women viewed as encouragement

6:50 am on 12 March 2012

The chairperson of the Samoa Women's Leadership Group says a separate electoral roll for women would encourage them to offer themselves as election candidates.

The government is proposing to amend the law to allow for the creation of five reserved seats for women, guaranteeing them parliamentary representation of 10 percent.

Dr Viopapa Annandale says most women feel quite strongly that entry to parliament should be on the basis of merit, not gender.

But she says if the natural process is followed it could take far longer for women to feel they have a chance of being elected in their constituency.

"Whereas if there is a separate electoral roll for women, women would be inspired, they would believe in themselves and this would be an encouragement to them that they do have a chance on their merits to be elected."

Dr Viopapa Annandale says her group is seriously considering making a submission recommending a separate electoral roll for women.