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Gender Justice

Women with Disabilities Push for Equality and Acceptance in Samoa

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A recent survey commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women found that Samoan women with disabilities are twice as unlikely to be employed in Samoa compared to men with disabilities. Samoan women with disabilities also reported often being denied training and education opportunities. Although Samoa has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which mandates that governments prohibit all forms of discrimination on the basis of disability, the nation has yet to enact legislation ensuring non-discrimination or reasonable accommodations for Samoans with disabilities in the workplace. The absence of adequate safeguards can result in significant consequences for women with disabilities, who face intersecting junctures of oppression. Nuufou Salelologa Mose, who was forced by the Ministry of Education to resign from her job as a teacher due to her disability, says policy action is critical: “The need now is for the government to enact legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Samoa.”

Editing assistance by Desmond LaFave

Photo of Faaolo Utumapu-Utailesolo.

Filmmaker: Faaolo Utumapu-Utailesolo

Faaolo Utumapu-Utailesolo is the program officer for the Pacific Island Countries for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. She works closely with the program team and serves as a liaison between the funds and grantees in the Pacific Island Countries.

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