PAS found strong agreement for woman Prime Minister, but not a woman Head of State


The Pacific Attitudes Survey found attitudes to women’s participation in politics were generally positive, with clear support (78%) for temporary special measures to improve representation.

“Some 56 percent of respondents believed there are ‘too few’ women represented in parliament. Notably though, while the PAS found strong agreement (85 percent ) that ‘a woman should become Prime Minster of our country’, such support did not extend to the head of state (O le Ao o le Malo), with just 50 percent agreeing a woman should become head of state.”

This is outlined in the 57 page Pacific Attitudes Survey (PAS) that was developed in partnership with researchers from The Australian
National University’s Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT).

The PAS found strong intergenerational differences in political attitudes in Samoa.

“A consistent theme running through the survey was that young people generally feel disconnected from politics. Younger Samoans were more likely to report lower levels of interest in politics, with 39 percent of Samoans aged 21–29 reporting little to no interest in politics, compared with 22 percent of Samoans aged 30–59, and 26 percent for those aged 60 or above. Older Samoans were also more likely to report being politically active.”

The survey said the Constitutional reforms introduced in 2013 provide for a minimum number of seats for women, with at least 10 percent of parliamentary seats now reserved for women candidates (adding additional seats to the parliament if fewer than five women are elected).7
Samoa has 11 political districts.

The PAS took place some three months before the April 2021 Samoan general election, gauging popular sentiment at what would prove a time of significant change.”