From the next general elections at least five seats in Samoan Parliament will be occupied by women.
Passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2013 this morning made that law.
“It’s a new dawn for women,” Speaker of Parliament, La’auli Leuatea Fosi said.
An outbreak of clapping by MPs greeted passage of the bill.
None of the 44 MPs present in Parliament voted against it.
Opposition party Tautua Samoa Party joined Government to make the amendment law.
It reserves 10 percent of the seats in Parliament for women electoral candidates.
With 49 seats in Parliament this works out to five seats guaranteed for women, to start on the polling day of the next general election.
Under a flexible formula if no woman is elected to Parliament at the next elections, five women candidates who get the highest number of votes will occupy the allocated seats in Parliament.
In such a situation the number of seats in Parliament will be increased to 54 seats.
If less than five women win seats in general elections candidates who secured the most votes will fill the allocated seats.
But if five women candidates win seats in elections, the formula won’t be used – the number of seats in Parliament stays at 49.