The Independent State of Samoa is an archipelago of islands, nine of which are inhabited. There is a high population growth rate, offset by a high emigration rate. More than 90 percent of the population is ethnic Samoan and Christian. The culture emphasizes traditional Samoan social values, known as fa'a, and Christian beliefs. There are no legal or religious obstacles to equality, and many women enjoy good educational opportunities. Key women's issues include domestic violence and a lack of employment and political opportunities.

Samoan families are generally extended in nature, with membership based on heredity, land, and titles. The fertility rate is high, at 4.16 births per woman, and the infant mortality rate is 24.22 per 1,000 live births. Family members are expected ...

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