The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World


Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun. 2019. “The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 18 (2): 304–31.

Author: Judy Tzu-Chun Wu


This article focuses on the antinuclear and antimilitarism politics of Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927–2002), the first Japanese American female lawyer in Hawai'i, the first woman of color to become a U.S. congressional representative, and the namesake for Title IX. During the late 1960s and 1970s, Mink challenged the use of the Pacific lands, waters, and peoples as sites of military experimentation, subject to nuclear and chemical testing as well as war games. Mink's political worldview, shaped by her experiences and understanding of the interconnectedness between human and nonhuman life as well as water and land, reflected a Pacific World sensibility. She worked with, but also articulated political priorities that differed from, indigenous peoples of the Pacific. Focusing on these connected yet divergent Pacific imaginaries provides an opportunity to explore the significance of these antimilitarism campaigns for the study of transnational feminisms as well as Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. First, the protests of Mink and Native Hawaiian activists against U.S. militarism in the Pacific represented gendered critiques of U.S. empire, although in different ways. Second, Mink's advocacy via political liberalism provided opportunities for coalition formation yet also constrained the range of her gendered arguments and limited possible solutions beyond the U.S. polity. Third, the coalitional possibilities and incommensurabilities reveal the points of convergence and divergence between Asian American demands for full inclusion and Pacific Islander calls for decolonization and sovereignty. (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: Patsy Takemoto Mink, Cold War militarism, Pacific World, liberalism, settler colonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Oceania Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

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

Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth


Caldecott, Léonie, and Stephanie Leland, eds. 1983. Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth. London: Women’s Press.

Authors: Léonie Caldecott, Stephanie Leland



Essays discuss nuclear proliferation, chemical pollution, land rights, childbirth, infanticide, ecology, and feminist activities around the world (Summary from Google Books).

Table of Contents:

1. The Eco-Feminist Imperative
Ynestra King

2. Unity Statement
Women’s​ Pentagon Action

3. Unholy Secrets: The Impact of the Nuclear Age on Public Health
Rosalie Bertell

4. The Long Death (poem)
Marge Piercy

5. Sveso Is Everywhere
Women’s Working Group, Geneva; translated and extracted from the French by Frances Howard-Gordon

6. The Politics of Women’s Health
Nancy Worcester

7. Feminism: Healing the Patriarchal Dis-Ease
Jill Raymond and Janice Wilson

8. Ask A Stupid Question (poem)
Susan Saxe

9. Feminism and Ecology: Theoretical Connections
Stephanie Leland

10. Roots: Black Ghetto Ecology
Wilmette Brown

11. Seeds That Bear Fruit: A Japanese Woman Speaks
Manami Suzuki

12. Another Country (poem)
Marge Piercy

13. Thought for Food
Liz Butterworth

14. The Power to Feed Ourselves : Women and Land Rights
Barbara Rogers

15.  The Land Is Our Life: A Pacific Experience
Léonie Caldecott

16. A Micronesian Woman (poem)
Rosalie Bertell

17.  Greening the Desert: Women of Kenya Reclaim Land
Maggie Jones and Wanagari Maathai

18.  Greening the Cities: Creating a Hospitable Environment for Women and Children
Penelope Leach

19.  Against Nuclearisation and Beyond
Statement of Sicilian women

20. For the Hiroshima Maidens (poem)
Léonie Caldecott

21. Gaea: The Earth as Our Spiritual Heritage
Jean Freer

22. He Wanine, He Whenau: Maori Women and the Environment
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

23. All of One Flesh: The Rights of Animals
Norma Benney

24. The Mothers Do Not Disappear
Marta Zabaleta; translated by Jackie Rodick

25. Invisible Casualities: Women Servicing Militarism
Lesley Merryfinch

26. Alternative Technology: A Feminist Technology?
Chris Thomas

27. Safety and Survival
Margaret Wright

28. Birth: The Agony or the Ecstasy?
Caroline Wyndham

29. A New Form of Female Infanticide
Manushi Collective

30. Saving Trees, Saving Lives: Third World Women and the Issue of Survival
Anita Anand

31. Time for Women: New Patterns of Work
Sheila Rothwell

32. Personal, Political and Planetary Play

33. The Warp and the Weft: The Coming Synthesis of Eco-Philosophy and Eco-Feminism
Hazel Henderson

34. Prayer for Continuation (poem)
Susan Griffin

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, East Asia, Oceania Countries: Japan, Kenya, Micronesia, New Zealand

Year: 1983

Gender and Daily Mobility in a New Zealand City, 1920–1960


Law, Robin. 2002. “Gender and Daily Mobility in a New Zealand City, 1920–1960.” Social & Cultural Geography 3 (4): 425–45.

Author: Robin Law


Although it is widely accepted that transport—like other social practices—is gendered, the concept of gender used in transport research is often one‐dimensional, with the focus on gendered variations in behaviour rather than on gendered meaning and identities. In this paper, I develop a more complex and multi‐stranded way of approaching the issue of gender and transport (or rather, daily mobility). A case study of a neighbourhood in the New Zealand city of Dunedin in the early decades of last century is presented to explore how the practices of daily mobility constituted gender. A three‐part concept of gender is developed as a basis for analysis: gender as a pattern of social relations, a cultural system of meaning and a component of personal identity. This is then used to analyse a collection of sixty oral histories. The period 1920–1960 is particularly interesting; in these decades extensive and widely used public transport systems (notably electric trams) shared urban streets with bicycles and pedestrians, and the emerging private modes of motorcycle and motor car. As new transport technologies were taken up, they offered the opportunity for new social practices to be formed around their use, for cultural meanings to be assigned to the technologies and for embodied individual subjectivities to be constructed. I argue that we can usefully interpret the shifting patterns of transport use through the lens of gender, and that we can come to understand the process by which gender is constructed by attention to everyday trip‐making and presence on the street.
Il est généralement reconnu que le transport—tout comme d'autre pratiques sociales—est une réalité qui se vit différemment selon le sexe de l'utilisateur. Pourtant, les conceptions du masculin et féminin utilisées dans les recherches sur le transport sont souvent unidimensionnelles et se concentrent davantage sur les variations de comportement que sur le sens de l'identité homme ou femme. Dans cet article, j'élabore une approche plus diversifiée en rapport à la question du transport (ou plutôt de la mobilité quotidienne) et du genre. Une étude de cas est présentée, celle d'un quartier dans la ville nouvellezélandaise de Dunedin au début du siècle dernier, afin d'explorer comment les pratiques quotidiennes de la mobilité contribuent à former les rôles attribués à chaque sexe. Une théorie du genre en trois parties forme la base de l'analyse: les identités sexuelles sont un cadre de relations sociales, un système culturel de sens, et une composante de l'identité personnelle. Cette théorie est ensuite utilisée dans l'analyse de soixante testaments oraux. La période allant de 1920 à 1960 est particulièrement intéressante; pendant ces décennies, des systèmes de transport publics très étendus et largement utilisés (notamment les tramways électriques) se partageaient les voies urbaines avec les bicyclettes, les piétons et d'autres modes de transport privé émergeant à l'époque tels que la voiture et la motocyclette. Au fur et à mesure que de nouvelles technologies de transport furent adoptées, celles‐ci ouvrirent la voie à de nouvelles pratiques sociales issues de leur utilisation, ainsi qu'à de nouvelles idées culturelles et subjectivités individuelles reliées à ces technologies. Je soutiens qu'une analyse des rôles sexuels offre de riches interprétations des modes changeants d'utilisation des transports. De même, l'analyse des déplacements quotidiens et de la présence dans la rue offre des voies de compréhension utiles du processus de formation des identités masculine et féminine.
A pesar de que sea bien reconocido que al transporte—al igual que otras prácticas sociales—le ponemos género, el concepto de género aplicado en las investigaciones sobre el transporte es, a menudo, mono‐dimensional y centrado en variaciones en comportamiento, en vez de significado e identidades por lo que se refiere a género. En este papel, me dirijo al tema de género y transporte (o más bien, movilidad cotidiana) de un modo más complejo y multiforme. Presento un estudïo de caso de un barrio en la ciudad nueva zelandesa de Dunedin en las primeras décadas del siglo pasado para explorar el modo en que las prácticas de movilidad cotidiana constituían género. Un concepto de género en tres partes forma la base del análisis: género como un modelo de relaciones sociales, un sistema cultural de significado, y un componente de identidad personal. Luego se utiliza este concepto para analizar una colección de 60 historias orales. El período de 1920 a 1960 es particularmente interesante; en estas décadas un extensivo y extensamenre usado sistema de transporte público (notablemente los tranvías eléctricos) compartia las calles urbanas con bicicletas y peatones, y los emergentes modos de transporte privados; el motocicleta y el auto. Las nuevas tec‐nologias de transporte que se iba adoptando ofrecían la oportunidad para la formación de nuevas prácticas sociales alrededor de su uso, para la atribución de significados culturales a las tecnologías, y para la construcción de subjetividades individuales encarnadas. Sugiero que es útil interpretar los cambiantes modelos de uso de transporte desde el punto de vista de género y que podemos llegar a entender el proceso por el cual se construye el género si prestamos atención a viajes cotidianos y por presencia en la calle.

Keywords: transport, mobility, streets, public transport, trams, genre (féminin/masculine), mobilité, rues, transports public, tramways, movilidad, calles, transporte público, gender, transporte, tranvías, gênero

Topics: Gender, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Oceania Countries: New Zealand

Year: 2002

Narrations and Practices of Mobility and Immobility in the Maintenance of Gender Dualisms


Boyer, Kate, Robyn Mayes, and Barbara Pini. 2017. “Narrations and Practices of Mobility and Immobility in the Maintenance of Gender Dualisms.” Mobilities 12 (6): 847–60. 

Authors: Kate Boyer, Robyn Mayers, Barbara Pini


This paper analyses the role of practices and representations of mobility in supporting particular kinds of gender orders. While scholarship has shown the various ways women are materially and symbolically ‘fixed’ in place, less attention has been paid to how discourses and practices of mobility interface with systems of gender differentiation more broadly. This work is based on a robust empirical base of 55 interviews, 90 h of participant observation and an analysis of museum displays in Kalgoorile, Western Australia, an iconic frontier mining town selected for this investigation as a site of strongly bifurcated gender discourses. Analysing our field data through the lens of feminist theory which problematizes gender binaries, we argue that while some narrations of gender mobilities serve to reinforce gender binaries, lived practices of movement can also destabilise (idealised) notions of gendered movement. This paper extends conceptual work by advancing understanding about the role of mobility within systems of gender differentiation, showing how lived practices of mobility are just as likely to challenge idealised patterns of gendered movement as they are to reinforce these patterns.

Keywords: mobility, sex work, skin-work, gender binaries, mining, Kalgoorlie Australia

Topics: Gender, Gendered Discourses, Women, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2017

A Radical Revision of the Public Health Response to Environmental Crisis in a Warming World: Contributions of Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Feminist Perspectives


Lewis, Diana, Lewis Williams, and Rhys Jones. 2020. “A Radical Revision of the Public Health Response to Environmental Crisis in a Warming World: Contributions of Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Feminist Perspectives.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 111 (6): 897–900.

Authors: Diana Lewis, Lewis Williams, Rhys Jones


Indigenous peoples have long been successful at adapting to climatic and environmental changes. However, anthropogenic climatic crisis represents an epoch of intensified colonialism which poses particular challenges to Indigenous peoples throughout the world, including those in wealthier ‘modern’ nation states. Indigenous peoples also possess worldviews and traditional knowledge systems that are critical to climate mitigation and adaptation, yet, paradoxically, these are devalued and marginalized and have yet to be recognized as essential foundations of public health. In this article, we provide an overview of how public health policy and discourse fails Indigenous peoples living in the colonial nation states of Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand. We argue that addressing these systemic failures requires the incorporation of Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous feminist perspectives beyond superficial understandings in public health-related climate change policy and practice, and that systems transformation of this nature will in turn require a radical revision of settler understandings of the determinants of health. Further, public health climate change responses that centre Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous feminist perspectives as presented by Indigenous peoples themselves must underpin from local to global levels.
Les peuples autochtones ont de tout temps réussi à s’adapter aux changements du climat et de leur environnement. La crise climatique anthropogène constitue toutefois une époque de colonialisme intensifié qui pose des difficultés particulières aux peuples autochtones du monde entier, y compris ceux des États-nations riches et « modernes ». Les peuples autochtones possèdent aussi des visions du monde et des systèmes de savoir traditionnels indispensables aux efforts d’atténuation et d’adaptation au changement climatique; paradoxalement, ces visions et systèmes sont dévalués et marginalisés et ne sont pas encore reconnus comme étant des bases essentielles de la santé publique. Dans cet article, nous expliquons en général en quoi les politiques et le discours de la santé publique laissent sur le carreau les peuples autochtones vivant dans les États-nations coloniaux du Canada et d’Aotearoa (la Nouvelle-Zélande). Nous faisons valoir que pour aborder ces échecs systémiques, il faut intégrer les savoirs autochtones et les perspectives féministes autochtones au-delà d’une compréhension superficielle des politiques et des pratiques de santé publique relatives au changement climatique, et qu’une telle transformation des systèmes exigera en retour une révision radicale des savoirs coloniaux sur les déterminants de la santé. Plus encore, les ripostes de la santé publique au changement climatique, que ce soit à l’échelle locale ou mondiale, doivent être centrées sur les savoirs autochtones et les perspectives féministes autochtones tels que présentés par les peuples autochtones eux-mêmes.

Keywords: public health, climate change, indigenous, competencies, feminist, santé publique, changement climatique, autochtones, compétences, féminisme

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Health, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Americas, Oceania Countries: Canada, New Zealand

Year: 2020

Pacific Women in Climate Change Negotiations


Carter, George, and Elise Howard. 2020. “Pacific Women in Climate Change Negotiations.” Small States & Territories 3 (2): 303–18.

Authors: George Carter, Elise Howard


The contribution of Pacific women to climate negotiations is underacknowledged. Women may have limited roles as heads of delegations or the face of climate negotiations, yet behind the scenes they often play proactive leadership roles either as technical negotiators or coalition coordinators. Using a global talanoa methodology, the article traces the role of Pacific women in climate negotiations, with a focus on the Paris Climate Conference 2015. It finds that women take on leadership roles that have the potential to disrupt stereotypical gendered divisions of expertise. It also highlights how further in-depth research is required to ascertain whether the leadership space created by climate change negotiations can transform gender relations writ large. These counter narratives contribute to feminist research by highlighting that Pacific women are not passive victims of climate change.

Keywords: gender, climate negotiations, Pacific, Global talanoa, Paris Climate Conference

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Political Participation Regions: Oceania

Year: 2020

Does the Matrilineality Make a Difference? Land, Kinship and Women’s Empowerment in Bobonaro District, Timor-Leste


Narciso, Vanda Jesus Santos, and Pedro Damião Sousa Henriques. 2020. “Does the Matrilineality Make a Difference? Land, Kinship and Women’s Empowerment in Bobonaro District, Timor-Leste.” Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 25 (2): 348–70.

Authors: Vanda Jesus Santos Narciso, Pedro Damião Sousa Henriques


This article investigates the roles that land rights and kinship norms have on rural women’s empowerment in the Bobonaro district of Timor-Leste. To this aim, a case study was carried out, using a questionnaire survey to compare three kinship groups (harmonic matrilineal, matrilineal and patrilineal). The land rights considered are ownership and control. The measurement of empowerment is based on three questions relating to household decision-making. Women’s autonomy and participation in decisions are also analyzed. The data presented show the importance of not only the ownership of land, but also effective and independent women’s land rights and the kinship system to women’s empowerment. Therefore, in order to contribute to gender equality, land policies should take gender and kinship into close consideration. 

Keywords: women, land, kinship, empowerment, Timor-Leste

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Hierarchies, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2020

Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons from Tanna Island, Vanuatu


Clarke, Tahlia, Karen E. McNamara, Rachel Clissold, and Patrick D. Nunn. 2019. “Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons from Tanna Island, Vanuatu.” Island Studies Journal 14 (1): 59-80.

Authors: Tahlia Clarke, Karen E. McNamara, Rachel Clissold, Patrick D. Nunn


Community-based adaptation has gained significant international attention as a way for communities to respond to the increasing threats and complex pressures posed by climate change. This bottom-up strategy represents an alternative to the prolonged reliance on, and widespread ineffectiveness of, mitigation methods to halt climate change, in addition to the exacerbation of vulnerability resulting from top-down adaptation approaches. Yet despite the promises of this alternative approach, the efficacy of community-based adaptation remains unknown. Its potential to reduce vulnerability within communities remains a significant gap in knowledge, largely due to limited participatory evaluations with those directly affected by these initiatives, to determine the success and failure of project design, implementation, outcomes and long-term impact. This paper seeks to close this gap by undertaking an in-depth evaluation of multiple community-based adaptation projects in Tanna Island, Vanuatu and exploring community attitudes and behavioural changes. This study found that future community-based adaptation should integrate contextual specificities and gender equality frameworks into community-based adaptation design and implementation, as well as recognise and complement characteristics of local resilience and innovation. In doing this, the critical importance of looking beyond assumptions of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as homogenous, primarily vulnerable to climate change and lacking resilience, was also recognised.

Keywords: adaptation, climate change, community-based resilience, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), vulnerability

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Oceania Countries: Vanuatu

Year: 2020

The Women’s Movement in Timor-Leste and Potential for Social Change


Niner, Sara Louise, and Hannah Loney. 2019. “The Women’s Movement in Timor-Leste and Potential for Social Change.” Politics & Gender 16 (3): 874-902.

Authors: Sara Louise Niner, Hannah Loney


The postconflict period in Timor-Leste is significant for the status of women and the struggle for gender equality. Women today face cultural and political pressure to conform to patriarchal demands, driven by a complex history of conflict, colonialism and changing customary practices. The contemporary East Timorese women’s movement, largely a coalition of local NGOs, key women leaders and parliamentarians, has successfully driven the introduction of progressive egalitarian laws and policy, but it continues to grapple with the deeper changes in social practices required for systemic change. We argue that a better understanding of the history of the women’s movement, forged within an anticolonial, nationalist independence movement, alongside a conceptualization of the intersecting structures that have shaped the capacity for East Timorese women to effect social change in their communities and nation, is necessary to fully realize the movement’s goals and potential. Situating the movement within this framework provides new perspectives on these successes and on strategizing for the transformation of gender relations to make gender equality a lasting reality in everyday practice in contemporary Timor-Leste.

Keywords: women and politics, women's movements, gender, Timor-Leste

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Post-Conflict Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2019


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Oceania