Marshall Islands

Bikinis and Other S/Pacific N/Oceans


Teaiwa, Teresia K. 2010. “Bikinis and Other S/Pacific N/Oceans.” In Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L. Camacho, 15–32. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Keywords: bikini, nuclear power, Pacific Islanders, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, feminization, sexualization, colonialism, female body, nuclear testing



This chapter suggests that the bikini bathing suit manifests both a celebration and a forgetting of the nuclear power that strategically and materially marginalizes and erases the living history of Pacific Islanders. By analyzing militarist, nuclear, and touristic discourses on Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, it demonstrates the feminization and sexualization of nuclear colonialism while elaborating how empires have been engendered through the deformation and violation of Pacific Islander bodies. It describes the bikini bathing suit as a testament to the recurring tourist trivialization of Pacific Islanders’ experience and existence. By drawing attention to a sexualized and supposedly depoliticized female body, the bikini distracts from the colonial and highly political origins of its name. The sexist dynamic the bikini performs—objectification through excessive visibility—inverts the colonial dynamics that have occurred during nuclear testing in the Pacific, that is, objectification by rendering invisible. (Summary from Publisher)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Femininity/ies, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: Marshall Islands, United States of America

Year: 2010

Integrating Gender into Public Expenditure: Lessons from the Republic of the Marshall Islands


Sharp, Rhonda, and Sanjugta Vas Dev. 2006. “Integrating Gender into Public Expenditure: Lessons from the Republic of the Marshall Islands.” Pacific Studies 29 (3/4): 83-105.  

Authors: Rhonda Sharp, Sanjugta Vas Dev


In 2003, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) became tile first Pacific Island government to introduce a gender budget initiative (GBI) as a strategy for promoting gender equality. Important enabling factors which facilitated the GBI included the RMI's matrilineal culture, its strong women's nongovernment organizations (NGO) base and a raft of budgetary reforms seeking to increase transparency and accountability. However, a poorly resourced women's office within the government, low numbers of women holding political office, and the absence of key gender accountability mechanisms limited the success of the initiative. The most significant constraining factor was the RMI's budgetary context, including the uncertainty created by the US-RM I Compact negotiations. A key lesson for other countries is that GBIs, like any budgetary reform process, encounter a range of problems in changing budgetary processes and decision making, including a lack of political will of the government.


Topics: Gender, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, NGOs, Political Participation Regions: Oceania Countries: Marshall Islands

Year: 2006

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