A new leadership project aimed at advancing gender equality has been launched in Samoa.
The Women in Leadership in Samoa project also seeks to improve women's leadership in the country
Samoa has taken significant steps towards gender equality and women now hold five of the 50 seats in Parliament, in accordance with a constitutional amendment in 2013 to ensure 10 percent of the seats are held by women.
A record 24 women stood in the 2016 election, three times as many as in the previous poll.
Despite these developments organisers of the WILS project said barriers remained which prevented women from engaging in political leadership.
They include limited pathways into political leadership, certain perceptions about women's roles, financial constraints, gaps in civic education and the need for broader support.
The project aimed to address such challenges and support increased women's representation at all levels of leadership.
The WILS project is a joint initiative between UN Women, UNDP and the governments of Samoa and Australia.