Samoa Poised To Pass Bills Focused On Women’s Rights; Maternity leave, legal abortion among considerations
24th July, 2012
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 24, 2012) – Samoa’s government says key bills to help women could be passed this year. Samoa has presented a periodic report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Megan Whelan reports.
“The associate minister for women, community and development, Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow, has told the committee that the Family Safety bill could be passed by the end of the year. This bill includes marital rape as an offence, allows for legal abortion if it is to preserve the life of the mother, and creates a new offence of solicitation of prostitutes. Gatoloaifaana says another bill, the labor and employment bill, which provides for six weeks paid maternity leave in the private sector, has taken some time, but is now through its first and second reading. Samoa’s report to the committee says issues of women taking up matai titles and not sitting in village council meetings have been raised as a policy issue that also requires a change in traditional attitudes and practices. It says the proposed constitutional amendment to allow for more seats in Parliament for women will facilitate more dialogue on women’s access to matai titles.”
Source: Radio New Zealand International via Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i