Land for Agriculture—Silent Women: Mens' Voices

Citation:

Kenneth, Roselyne. 2015. “Land for Agriculture-Silent Women: Mens' Voices.” In Bougainville before the Conflict, edited by Anthony J. Regan and Helga M. Griffin, 374-87. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Author: Roselyne Kenneth

Annotation:

Summary:
“Entitlement to land constitutes an important base for a person’s status in Haku society on Buka Island. Associated with it are political consequences for the individual as well as for the society. This chapter focuses on the part played by both men and women in negotiations and decisions governing access to agricultural land in their communities, especially the part played by ‘maternal uncles’ and women’s voices in such processes. It also examines to what extent socio-political changes have affected the standing of women and their authority in contemporary society.
 
"On occasions when matters about customary land are discussed, the scene is dominated by men. A first impression is therefore that although the society is matrilineal, it is the men who dominate socio-political life. However, from the perspective of traditional Haku society, absence from public life was not the same as lacking power. The traditional position of women, although rarely exposed in public, included the power to exercise authority, especially in matters concerning land and other inherited rights. Thus, if women remain silent during public meetings, it does not mean that they lack the power to exercise authority in certain matters" (Kenneth 2015, p. 374).

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 2015

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