Australia’s Ambassador for Gender Equality Visits Salelologa Market in Samoa

Apia, Samoa — The Salelologa Market in Savaii, Samoa recently welcomed Australia’s Ambassador for Gender Equality, Ms Stephanie Copus Campbell, as part of a field visit organised by UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project.

Together with Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, His Excellency Will Robinson, Ambassador Campbell had the chance to meet market vendors and hear first-hand their experiences as entrepreneurs, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face.

“We encountered a significant challenge of frequently losing our belongings without being able to identify the perpetrators. The installation of cameras in the market has since played a crucial role in reducing the incidence of theft. The presence of cameras has been immensely beneficial as it enables real-time monitoring and facilitates the identification of those responsible for such incidents,” said Vaiema Lealiiee, a market vendor.

Through M4C, the Salelologa Market received infrastructure enhancements, including installing CCTV and first aid kits. Vendors also benefitted from extensive training programs and workshops aimed at enhancing their capabilities.

Ulufafo Suniula, a Salelologa market vendor, expressed, “The Markets for Change Project has had a significant impact on me and my business. Through their training programs and support services, I have been able to improve my understanding of the type of support that exists for us as vendors, understanding registration process and legislation in setting up our Market Vendor Association here in Salelologa, at the same time scale up my production, and expand my customer base. The M4C Project has empowered me as a business owner and enabled me to thrive in a competitive market environment.”

“In markets across Samoa, there are stories of strength, resilience, and the entrepreneurial spirit of women. Australia’s support for Samoa’s marketplaces is underpinned by our belief that they are hubs of community and wellbeing – when these spaces are safe and accessible to all, Samoa’s communities will thrive,” said Ambassador Campbell.

“I am deeply appreciative of the Australian Ambassador for Gender Equality’s visit to the Samoa market, showcasing a tangible commitment to advancing women’s economic empowerment. Such initiatives underscore the critical importance of sustained efforts in enhancing women’s economic development across the Pacific region and women’s contribution to uplifting communities’ livelihoods,” said UN Women Representative to the Pacific, Delphine Serumaga.

The Government of Australia is investing AUD 5.3 million over the next five years through the Markets for Change (M4C) project. Led by UN Women, the project promotes gender equality through the economic empowerment of women market vendors in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It brings together governments, market vendors and market vendors associations, civil society organisations and UN agencies. It is implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNDP and the Governments of Australia, Canada and New Zealand.