Samoa reviews Country Plan: engagement and empowerment

Reminding women and young girls of what they’re capable of doing, instead of limiting themselves because of gender, has been one outcome of the review of the Pacific Women Samoa Country Plan undertaken late last year.

After five years of activities in Samoa to support women’s empowerment, the review was seen as a timely exercise to consider what has worked well and what needs redirecting.

The review team consisted of Linda Petersen, Pacific Women Support Unit; Danielle Lio, Ministry of Finance, Government of Samoa; Gaye Moore, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia, and Marion Quinn.

‘Meeting with stakeholders and beneficiaries was essential, these meetings offer a space for partners to collectively reflect on whether the program is on track,’ said DFAT’s Ronicera Fuimaono.

Through Pacific Women, the Australian Government will spend approximately $9.3 million over 10 years to support women’s empowerment in Samoa. The first five-year Country Plan includes activities valued at approximately $4.4 million will be implemented from 2015-2020 through Government of Samoa in collaboration with relevant partners, including relevant government ministries, NGOs and the private sector.

The review team visited community projects in Savaii and rural Upolu which are supported through Pacific Women, and met with a wide range of stakeholders including representatives of the government of Samoa, civil society organisations, private sector organisations and other development partners.

Pacific Women has supported the Government of Samoa to deliver activities for women in business in rural Savaii. Picture: Danielle Lio, Government of Samoa

Danielle Lio, representing the Government of Samoa, said she witnessed three key features during the review: engagement, oneness and empowerment.

‘It’s a beautiful thing for a community to come together as one and work together for the betterment of their own society. This is helping government to achieve its goals and objectives but also helping themselves to develop on their own.’

Toward the end of the mission, the team held a one-day consultation jointly with the Ministry with 40 stakeholders to hear from three eminent Samoans about the advancement of women and gender equality in their country, and for the review team to obtain feedback on their initial findings on the focus of future support for the second half of Pacific Women’s support to Samoa.