24 Feb 2016

Perceptions towards Samoa women leaders changing

8:00 am on 24 February 2016
Temporary Samoa Parliament at Tuana'imato sport complex.

Temporary Samoa Parliament at Tuana'imato sport complex. Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

A women's rights advocate in Samoa says the tide is slowly changing towards recognising women as strong and equal leaders.

Twenty-four women are contesting the Samoa general election on March 4, compared to just nine women candidates in the previous election.

In 2013, the law was changed to ensure five seats or 10 percent of the 49 seats in Parliament are reserved for women.

According to Dr Papalii Viopapa Annandale while the move for greater women representation hasn't been universally popular, people's attitudes and perceptions towards women's place in society is changing slightly.

"It's going towards the direction in which it will make it easier and possible for more women to be recognised as being partners in helping develop our country."

One of the biggest challenges for women is to be seen by the traditional matai leadership as leaders she said.