Samoa
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Samoa’s Police Women raise the flag in celebration of International Women’s Day  

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 08 MARCH 2023: Once every year, the women in the police force have the honor to raise the flag of Samoa to commemorate the International Women’s Day.

This morning, led by the first woman Police Deputy Commissioner, Papali’i Monalisa Tiai, and commanded by the Assistant Commissioner, Papali’i Efo Peika, the policewomen and members of the Police force, marched down Beach Road towards the Government Building for the daily raising of the flag.

It was significant to see only the police women lead the march and play a major part to raise the flag to salute the contribution of women in recognition of the international Women’s Day.

Prime Minister, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa presented a virtual speech to the Championing Women’s Economic Equality Forum in New York early in the week.

She said that according to the 2020 statistics on Women and Leadership, she falls into the category of less than 7% of country leaders who are women.

“SDG 5 posts that Gender equality means ensuring full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership. The rationale is not just about equity, fairness and rights in representation but that it makes for stronger governance and better economic outcomes,” she said.

Womens Day Police Flag Raising
Womens Day Police Flag Raising

Constables Fualaau Filipo and Selafina Sio raising the Samoan flag.

For Samoa, the Gender Equality 2021-2031 policy focus on increased economic empowerment for all on all areas of development such as health, education, gender balance in leadership positions, climate change, participation of women in agriculture and many others.

“In March 2021, women comprised 43.1% of employees in the formal sector. The top three industries for formal employment were public administration, commerce and other services. Only Commerce had a slightly higher ‘male’ employee composition than women,” Fiamē said.

She also noted that the main challenge faced by entrepreneurs is opening of new opportunities to remove obstacles and hurdles.

“The main Entrepreneurship challenges we face are by way of opening up new opportunities to remove obstacles through the creation of networks including public and private collaborations; supporting women owned ecosystem and the recognitions of services essential for their roles as multitaskers. We are also aware that we need robust data to be able to identify opportunity gaps,” said Fiamē.

According to a joint statement by the UN Residents Representatives in the Pacific, the International Women’s Day is putting a spotlight on the achievements of women and girls everywhere.

“It is the day of recognition and celebration of the strides which have been made to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.”