Gender stereotyping disadvantages women in Samoa

​Samoa's first Periodic Human Rights Review report has revealed gender stereotyping disadvantages women in many areas of life, particularly when living with their husband's families.

The report highlights the abuse suffered at the hands of a woman's husband, or her mother-in-law.

It says breaking stereotypes around the roles and responsibilities for women is necessary to achieve gender equality.

Samoa's ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, says the report is long overdue, and causes people to look at how human rights are being exercised, as well as examine the role of Fa'a Samoa or Samoan culture.

"Because we believe that the Fa'a Samoa is a very humane system. It's time we really look if we are living up to what we ought to be...in doing so, we take a good look at our own very rich culture, make sure that the real good stuff are held on firmly, and where we find shortcomings, we change."

The report also says several issues around the human rights of children must also be addressed, including correcting misunderstandings around the rights of the child, providing access to adequate education, addressing child labour, and preventing sexual abuse.