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Samoa

Population size: 

Has a very young population with 50% of the total population below the age of 21 years and 42% below the age of 17.


Education:

Literacy rate for young females is 99%

89% of girls enrolled attend primary school while in secondary school only 68% of girls enrolled attend. Child marriage and poverty are key reasons for this.


Economy:

Mostly operate in the informal micro- enterprise sector.

Women account for 53% of the total public service and head more than 40% of small businesses mostly in the private sector and micro- finance initiatives



Parliament:

Samoa held a general elections in March 2014, with 24 women candidates out of 164 in total. 4 women were successfully elected to Parliament.

2021: 8% of seats in national parliament were held by women.

May 2022: 7 females in total (out of 54)




Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

60% of women.[2]

46% of women who have ever been in a relationship have experienced one or more kinds of partner abuse. The most common form is physical (38%), sexual (20%) and emotional (19%).

About 30% of women who had been physically abused reported being injured as a result of the abuse.

97% of women who were victims did not report it to the policy and 36% of them said they failed to do so because it was a matter between husband and wife.

No research on male victims or other gender identities.


Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.


Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research but an increase reported in the press. [3]


Current law and policy:

In 2013 Samoan Legislators passed the Domestic Violence Bill/ Family Safety Act. In 2018 a national inquiry into family violence in samoa found that: “The Government’s lack of commitment and approach through inadequate allocation of resources, support and lack of coordination sends to people a message that gender inequality and family violence is acceptable.” The inquiry recognised the “cyclical” nature of the spread of domestic violence and abuse and recommended the adoption of a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach.


“The Domestic Violence Bill provides the means for a more effective response to domestic violence by providing a specific legal framework for addressing incidences of violence in the domestic arena in Samoa. The Act specifically outlines the procedures to apply for protection orders in the case of domestic violence. Section 15 specifically outlines the duties of police officers, namely that they must provide assistance as soon as possible and must not discriminate against applicants on the basis of sex, race, other status. The Domestic Violence Overview Report that informed the drafting of the bill emphasised the need for the legislation to be in line with the 2006 Convention on the Rights of the Child and CEDAW legislative compliance reviews given the available statistics pointing to the high violent crimes committed against women and children.”


In spite of this, domestic violence and abuse in the family against women, children and others remains rife. In 2018 a National Inquiry into Family Violence in Samoa found, inter alia, that “violence is affecting almost all families in Samoa”, with nine out of 10 respondents reporting abuse occurring regularly within the home. About 60% of women have experienced intimate partner violence, and 20% of women reported being raped, while cases of incest were around 10%.


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