Working for equality between women and men

Nov 28, 2015

Equality between women and men is just, fair and right. Making gender equality and political participation a reality is a core commitment of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women.

Since August this year, the Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa (IPPWS), a joint programme of UNDP and UN Women in partnership with the governments of Samoa and Australia, has been promoting a series of trainings aiming at strengthening the capacities of women that want to run in the March elections.

As part of the IPPWS, a new training “Helping women win” will be held tomorrow and Tuesday at the FAO Conference Room, in Matautu-Uta, Apia. The facilitator of the sessions will be the Elizabeth Weir and all women candidates are welcome to join.

Elizabeth Weir is a senior international parliamentary expert with extensive experience in training parliamentarians, political party activists and candidates in many countries of the world. As a former parliamentarian, senior government official and political party leader in Canada, she also brings an exceptional range of experience to her work as a trainer.

 “The training will give the participants an overview of the key elements of an election campaign and will highlight the areas where support can be provided.” – declared Weir - “The main goal of the sessions is to demonstrate how women candidates may be assisted to be successfully elected to Parliament. Helping women win will provide examples of activities that will allow women candidates to campaign effectively with limited resources.”

“When women participate in politics, there are benefits for women, men, children, communities and the nation at large” said Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga
IPPWS Coordinator. “UNDP strives to ensure that women from all constituencies in Upolu and Savai’i have a real voice in all governance institutions so that women can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making.”

UN Women’s Country Programme Coordinator for Samoa, Suisala Mele Maualaivao, added: “Women succeeding as politicians, gaining voice through participation and leadership can have enormous impact on society and policies. Women can help governance systems to become more inclusive and democratic because gender inequality is an obstacle to progress, a roadblock on the path of human development.”

On Thursday 3rd of December at 12noon, UNDP and UNWomen will also launch a new handbook titled: “Building the Blocks of Gender Equality. What Political Parties can do to strengthen the participation and representation of women”.

The publication identifies targeted interventions for promoting the stronger presence and influence of women in political parties as well as advancing gender equality issues in party policies and platforms. The entry points identified are designed to provide ideas for action for political parties. 

Contact information

Francesca Mondello, UN Communication Specialist, United Nations Resident Coordinator Office - Phone: +685 23670 ext 59 - Email:

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