24 Feb 2016

Samoa women's participation in election encouraging

5:34 am on 24 February 2016

A women's rights advocate in Samoa says it's encouraging to see so many more women contesting the general election this year.

Temporary Samoa Parliament at Tuana'imato sport complex.

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

Of the 171 candidates in the March 4 general election, 24 are women.

In the previous 2011 election, there were just 9 women candidates.

In 2013 the constitution was changed to reserve five seats, or l0 percent, of the 49 seats in Parliament for women.

Women's leadership advocate, Dr Papalii Viopapa Annandale, said the movement towards ensuring greater women's representation had been ongoing for years, but had recently taken off in Samoa.

"I think it's a very healthy development, I think it's very encouraging that so many more women are running this time. There's been I think over the last several few years a greater awareness by women, or let's say a stimulus to women, to take that challenge. I think the amendment to the constitution has contributed to that."

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