by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
With more talks on empowering women, Samoa has now set a milestone by adding itself to the list by electing its first female Deputy Prime Minister into its parliament.
During its general election in March, Samoa’s ruling party, Human Rights Protection Party, elected Fiame Naomi Mata’afa as its Deputy Prime Minister.
Mata’afa was among other contesting female candidates and was successfully elected into the parliament.
She is said to be the first female Deputy Prime Minister for Samoa, and is the daughter of the country’s first Prime Minister, Fiame Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinu’u II.
Her achievement as individual is of great importance to her family, the nation and for other female counterparts throughout the Pacific.
Like Samoa, other countries that have women political representatives in the parliament since 2006 includes Liberia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Kosovo, South Korea, Norway, Central African Republic, Chile, Malta, Poland, Scotland, Croatia, Namibia and Taiwan.
In the Pacific, countries that have also seen female representatives in the parliament include Fiji, Palau, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea.
In an interview with Pacific Beat, Mata’afa said “I think it is significant given that not only Samoa but the Pacific has been trying to increase [women’s] participation in public life and in politics,” she said.
“So I think the role modelling is important for women who have aspirations for public life.”
She is now a living example to many women in the Pacific and her achievemen’s will empower more female participation.