“I will not be limited to the kitchen.”

This was just one of the many strong statements made by Josephine Ogeuta, a third year student of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) during a commemoration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018.

Every year on March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (I.W.D). This year’s theme is Press for Progress, given a continuous and strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity and equality.

To commemorate, the Faculty of Arts (FoA) Peer 2 Peer Group organized initiatives which included presentations and a short Film Screening.

Josephine Ogeuta shared her personal experiences as a Samoan woman in her home, community, and education environment.

Ogeuta questioned the role of women in Samoan history in the 1930s to the 1950s and why it is not part of the official history, the history of which we do not learn of in primary and secondary education.

Ogeuta believes the traces of history that include women remain untold and it’s evident in its omission within primary and secondary education standard benchmarks.

Ogeuta has taken it upon herself, to challenge the various cultural norms and break the barriers that she now realizes, poses a hindrance towards achieving her goals and aspirations as a young woman in Samoa.

“I will not limit my capacity and role as a young woman to the kitchen,” she said, putting emphasis on women and girls having the ability to shape their own lives and decisions.

Following Ogeuta’s presentation, Dr. Saui’a Louise Mataia-Milo shared a sneak peek at a research she was working on, focused around women.

The presentation displayed the various roles of women in Samoan history, including a tribute to the early pioneers of women recognition.

The images illustrated various perspectives of how our women and girls were perceived, what they were expected to do and look like as indigenous women.

One perspective of our Samoan women and girls that was very obvious from the snippets, was how they were sexualized namely by the Marines and those who took the photographs. However, these historical facts are never within conversation.

“Back then, our women and girls never had the chance or circumstances that enabled them to shape their own lives or make their own decisions, no one told their stories, I urge young women, to make your own history and tell your own story,” she said.

The Faculty of Arts Peer2Peer Initiative were behind the occasion as a part of involving youth in a youth initiative.

Music enthusiasts from the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) got the opportunity to hear an experienced musician on the importance of music history and originality during a seminar last week at the Niuleá building seminar room.

This seminar was about the making of music and musician in modern Samoa , which Ms. Courtney Savali Leiloa Andrew was the presenter.

Ms. Courtney Savali Leiloa Andrew is a PhD. candidate in Ethnomusicology at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington.

She is also a musician and musical director of Samoan and African American heritage from Seattle, Washington, USA.

Miss Andrews shared with music students of N.U.S the importance of knowing and understanding the history of music, in order to move forward in modern music.

She also challenged students about the importance of using the originality of songs and music from ancient times.

Miss Andrews hails from the villages of Amanave, Nua ma Seetaga in American Samoa, and Safotu Savaii.


Gender stereotyping has been identified as one of the root causes of gender-based violence in Samoa.

A seminar on School Related Gender Based Violence was held at the National University of Samoa in a partnership with UNESCO to help tackle the issue of continuing violence in the school environment.

Stereotyping is believed to be another cause of the problem, where students are forced to feel a certain way because they are either different or don’t meet society’s expectations.

UNESCO Project Coordinator Nguyen Thanh Van says stereotypes is harmful because it sets out certain rules and standards for somebody that is different and not wanting to give up to such standards.

“For someone that is different and wouldn’t want to live up to these expectations, they would be automatically considered a minority or to be the outliers of society,” she added.

“Expectations is how the society expects someone to behave, or someone to act within a certain context,” she said.

With these expectations we have amongst each other, Van, says violence usually starts from there and later on would lead to social pressure.

With the partnership between UNESCO and the National University of Samoa Media and Journalism School, they were able to put together a seminar to educate the representatives of each faculty about school related gender based violence.

The seminar highlighted that there is a significant gap in the awareness of the public regarding to the forms of violence that exist in schools and its causes and consequences to the students.

Alexandra Meafou, the president for the National University of Samoa’s Students Association says, “I believe this seminar is helpful for everyone, especially someone who is a victim of violence such as myself.”

“It changes my mindset with what I have been taught and experience as a child,” he said.

“Everyone is equal, despite being rich or poor, black or white, weak or strong, we are all the same which is why we have to treat everyone fairly with the power we are given,” he added.

Stereotypes happen to both men and women. Gender stereotyping affects everyone equally.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed her commitment to the pacific in their fight against Climate Change.

Her comments were made during a meeting with students of the National University of Samoa at le Papaigalagala.

“I tell you, I will fight for the pacific in international stages to ensure that your voices are not gone unheard,” said Ardern when asked about her stance on climate change.

Students engaged with the Prime Minister regarding issues pertaining to youth, climate change and gender.

“Samoa has very little contribution to the pollution in the region compared to other countries,” she said.

She believe it’s must for all islands to starts small, including investing in electric cars.

“Because all cars use petrol and diesel, and those are the other factors contribute to pollution in the air,” she added.

She says Samoa and New Zealand’s partnerships are ideal for the development of the region especially in targeting issues such as climate change.

The vice chancellor thanked the prime minister and her cabinet for visiting N.U.S especially her commitment to fighting climate change.



The Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship (F.O.B.E) continue to produce young leaders for the Nationa University of Samoa Student Association (N.U.S.S.A).

Another student from F.O.B.E Jerry Matamu has been appointed The National University of Samoa Student Association president.

He takes over from the outgoing president, Alexandra Torah Meafou who studies under the same faculty.

The N.U.S.S.A board officially welcomed the new president following the election last week.

Mr. Meafou congratulated the new president, and welcomed him on behalf of the board of N.U.S.S.A.

"I am very happy that I have achieved many good things while being a president of N.U.S.S.A, and today I' pass the torch to my successor," said Meafou.

"Jerry, you will take over this position, and from now on, everything I have done as a president, it ends today and will be his responsibility. I encourage him and also believe that he will continue to do better as it is, for the University and also for N.U.S.S.A," she added.

This year is the first year implementation of election results from a electorla partnership between N.U.S.S.A and the Office of the Electoral Commission (O.E.C). The O.E.C introduced to N.U.S a standardized ballot voting system that mimics the National Voting ballot as a hope to encourage University Students to vote by way of engaging them in this miniscule voting platform.

The NUSSA elects its new executive every year.

The New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. Jacinda Ardern will arrive on the grounds of the National University of Samoa (.N.U.S) on Monday the 5th of March.

This is part of the Prime Minister's official visit to Samoa and other Pacific islands.

The Honourable Prime Minister and her delegation, will be welcomed with a traditional ava ceremony upon their arrival at Papaigalagala.

This will be followed by an art exhibition and a photo shoot.

The highlight of the day will be a question and answer session where students of the National University of Samoa will question the Prime Minister on three thematic areas of Gender, Climate Change and youth.

Students of the National University of Samoa will be a part of these open discussions come Monday morning at Le Papaigalagala.

The Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Prof Fui Leapai Tuua Asofou So’o says he is very much looking forward to this event, as it is a once in a life time opportunity for students.

Around 300 students and staff of the National University of Samoa are expected to be part of this occasion.


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