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Samoa (Independent State of Samoa)

Samoa (Independent State of Samoa) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 5 of 50 (10%) seats in the Fono/Legislative Assembly are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Unicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties?

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Oct 30, 2018

Single/Lower House

Fono/Legislative Assembly

Total seats 50
Total Women 5
% Women 10%
Election Year 2016
Electoral System FPTP BV
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution According to Article 44 of the Constitution, as amended by the Constitution Amendment Act 2013, women shall constitute a minimum of 10% of the Members of the Legislative Assembly. This provision will apply to the parliament to be elected in 2016.
Legal sanctions for non-compliance Constitution

If, following any general election, all members elected are men, the prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional members.

In case less than the prescribed number of women candidates are elected, the remaining prescribed number of women candidates (if any) with the highest number of votes shall become additional members.

Rank order/placement rules N/A Not applicable
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No data

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Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No

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Additional Information

The Constitutional Amendment Act 2013 introduced the system of reserved seats for women in the National Assembly, reserving 10 per cent of the total seats for women members. The rule is applicable to the next elections to the National Assembly in 2016. The system is based on a flexible formula whereby if no woman is elected to parliament at the next elections, the five women candidates who obtain the highest number of votes will occupy the allocated seats in parliament and the number of seats in Parliament will be increased to 54 seats. If less than five women win seats in general elections, the candidates who secured the most votes will fill the allocated seats, while if five women candidates win seats in elections, the system of reserved seats will not apply and the number of seats in Parliament will be 49.

Further details of the system include the rule whereby if the seat of an elected woman parliamentarian becomes vacant, and a man wins the seat in a subsequent by-election, a woman candidate in that by- election with the most votes becomes a member of parliament to ensure the five seats remain occupied. If no woman candidate runs in that by-election a woman is chosen from the results of the last by-election or general election. If two or more women candidates obtain equal votes the winner will be decided by a lot before the Electoral Commissioner in the presence of the candidates or their authorized representatives and at least two police officers. No two women candidates from the same constituency may become members of parliament unless no other woman candidate exists to make up the prescribed number of women.

Sources

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