The sixty third session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) was held from the 11th – 22nd March 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Hon. Faimalotoa Iemaima Kolotita Stowers AH-KAU, Minister for Women, Community and Social Development led Samoa’s delegation which included her Ministry’s CEO and two ACEO’s plus the Samoa Mission staff. The CSO representative from Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA) was also part of the Samoa delegation.
Hon. Faimalotoa delivered Samoa’s national statement on the 13th March 2019, during the General Debate of the CSW63. Hon. Faimalotoa welcomed the theme for CSW63; “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls” and reaffirmed Samoa’s commitment to the promotion, protection and empowerment of women and girls and ensuring that no one is left behind. The statement outlined multiple developments that have taken place on the ground for Samoa including the presentation of the 6th CEDAW Periodic Report that was carried out via teleconference in October 2018 and a number of studies that have taken place to address issues of Samoa Family Safety and Family Violence which was carried out by both the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development (MWCSD) and the Office of the Ombudsman (National human Rights Institution). A wide prevalence of violence in families and against women, children and persons with disabilities were revealed from the studies. A few of the key recommendations included the strengthening of the partnership between the MWCSD, NGO’s and National Council for Churches to addressing family violence.
Women in leadership, impacts of climate change, access to health services in the rural areas, access to justice and legal services, women in business and economic ventures and education for women and girls were among other important issues that were outlined in the statement.
The Samoa delegation also engaged in the two weeks negotiations of the CSW63 Agreed Conclusions. This important document continues to guide the work of States, CSO’s and other relevant actors in addressing issues that affect women and girls.
Samoa co-hosted with the Endeavour Forum, an NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC a side event on “Women’s Reproductive Health and Breast Cancer” on 21st March in the margins of the CSW63.