| || || Silipa, Easter Manila|
| || || The perceptions of Samoans on the underrepresentation of women in parliament|
Author:Silipa, Easter Manila
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to find out the perceptions of Samoans on the underrepresentation of women in the Parliament. The Parliament of Samoa consists of forty-nine seats and currently, only four seats are occupied by women. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used in this research. The qualitative information was obtained from a content analysis of existing literature related to the topic. The quantitative research data and information were gathered from research questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews. Two hundred and forty questionnaires were administered with the target sample of two hundred and forty; two hundred and ten responses were received. The findings from the questionnaires, FGD and in-depth interviews revealed a high level of Samoans’ perceptions regarding the under representation of women in Parliament. When asked about their perceptions on the need for women in Parliament, ninety-two percent responded there is a need for women in Parliament and eight percent responded no. All respondents perceived that it is Samoa’s current Electoral Act, the fa’aSamoa, the agenda of political parties and the current electoral voting system that contributed to the underrepresentation of women in Parliament. In regard to the challenges facing former and current women in the Parliament, the majority of respondents perceived that women are not addressing issues discussed in the Parliament. When asked about their perceptions on what the Government of Samoa should do to address the issue, most perceived that the Government should have in place voting and candidacy education for women, to provide financial assistance for women candidates and to amend the Electoral Act. Lastly, respondents were asked what they perceive as solutions or recommendations to address this issue. The respondents mostly perceived that amendment of the Electoral Act, changes to the current political system, establishment of funding for women candidates and the conduct of voting and candidacy education programs for women to be the greatest need.