Gender Roles and Statuses in Palau

Gender Roles and Statuses in Palau Gender Roles and Statuses in Palau

Division of Labor by Gender. In the past there was a strongly gendered division of labor in daily work tasks, with men in charge of fishing and the construction of houses and community buildings, and women in charge of farming and shellfish collection. Today both men and women are active in wage labor, and gender is of little importance except in national political offices, which are rarely held by women. There are women physicians, lawyers, and business managers, and the first Palauan woman serves on the Palau Supreme Court.

Gender Roles and Statuses in Palau

Division of Labor by Gender. In the past there was a strongly gendered division of labor in daily work tasks, with men in charge of fishing and the construction of houses and community buildings, and women in charge of farming and shellfish collection. Today both men and women are active in wage labor, and gender is of little importance except in national political offices, which are rarely held by women. There are women physicians, lawyers, and business managers, and the first Palauan woman serves on the Palau Supreme Court.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Palauan society recognizes complementary roles for men and women. The traditional governing village council was male, with a female chiefly counterpart council. Senior women were integrally involved in leadership: they selected (and could remove) the male titleholders. Senior women still have strong voices in clan decisions on property and wealth controlled by the matrilines, because money from exchanges enters the clan through the woman. Changes in legal inheritance, however, are eroding women's power.

Read more: Culture of Palau - history, people, clothing, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social