Press Release, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Apia Samoa. Every year, the world celebrates the International Day for Rural Women on the 15th of October. This year, the Government of Samoa through the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) proudly joins the world in celebrating the International Day for Rural Women.
In background, the IDRW was established in 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly in one of their resolutions to recognize and honor rural women for their work and contributions to the development of communities and nations.
The significant contributions of rural women to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and national goals are often unnoticed and unappreciated. The IDRW provides the platform to not only create awareness on the structural barriers and discriminatory social norms rural women encounter but it also recognizes the critical role of rural women in sustainable development through agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource development and enhancing climate resilience.
In Samoa, statistics show that 80 percent of the total female population lives in rural areas, mostly in traditional villages. While the Government of Samoa acknowledges the existence of gender inequality in Samoa, more so its harsh realities on women and girls in the rural communities, it also pledges its commitment to eradicating discrimination against women and reducing inequalities by improving its laws, systems and policies to encourage the active participation of women in all aspects of development.
The theme for this year’s IDRW celebrations is: “Financing for rural women’s empowerment – celebrating and honoring rural women and girls and the role they play in the food systems of the world”.
In a commemorative ceremony held at Maota o Salamasina earlier today, the Minister for the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, Afioga Mulipola Anarosa Ale Molioo commended and honored the substantial contributions and the role of Samoan women from the rural villages in keeping families and communities resilient and sustainable regardless the challenges they face.
The ceremony also featured addresses by our respective donor partners. The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Ms Emily Luckon behalf of the Government of Australia and Ms Delphine Serumaga, the Representative UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office, who continue to offer their extensive support and commitment to improving outcomes for gender equality and women empowerment.
The programme ended on a high note with a special handover ceremony where resources and equipment procured under the Markets for Change Project were officially handed to its key Implementing Agencies (ACC, SLC, MAF and MWCSD). The M4C Project is a six year transformative gender equality and women’s economic empowerment project which focuses on supporting and developing safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Samoa.