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Tropical islands

Islands in the Caribbean - General section
Individual islands
Islands in the Indian ocean - Individual islands
Islands in the South Pacific ocean
Individual islands
Annotations - Tropical islands in the Caribbean

Islands in the Caribbean - General section


ACOSTA-BELEN, Edna & BOSE, Christine E. (eds.) (1993)

Researching Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, Westview Press, Boulder Colo.

ANDERSON, P.(1986)

'Women in the Caribbean- Conclusion' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (2), 291-324.

ANTROBUS, Peggy (1989)

'Crisis, Challenge and the Experiences of Caribbean Women in Caribbean Quarterly 35 (1-2), 17-28.

BARROW, Christine (1988)

'Anthropology, the Family and Women in the Caribbean' in MOHHAMEN, P. & SHEPHERD, P. (eds.), Gender in Caribbean Development, University of West Indies, Jamaica, 156-169.

BRITTAIN, A, W. (1991)

'Can Women Remember the Number of Children they have Borne- Data from the East Caribbean' in Social Biology, 38 (3-4), 219-232.

CEBOTAREV, E. A. (1988)

'Women, Human rights and the Family in Development Theory and Practice (with Reference to Latin America and the Caribbean)' in Canadian Journal Of Development Studies, 9 (2), 187-200.

DAVIES, Carole Boyce & FIDO. Elaine Savory (1995)

Out of the Kumbla: Caribbean Women and Literature, Africa World Press.

ELLIS, Pat (1986)

'Introduction - an Overview of Women in the Caribbean Society' in ELLIS, Pat (ed.), Women of the Caribbean, Kingston Publishers Limited, Jamaica.

EMEAGWALI, Gloria Thomas (ed.) (1995)

Women Pay the Price: Structural Adjustment in Africa and the Caribbean, Africa World Press.

FEIJOO, M.D.C. (1990)

'Our Memory, Our future- Women and History - Latin America and the Caribbean' in Desarrollo Economico, 30 (118), 290.

GREENE, Edward (ed.) (1993) HART, Keith (ed.) (1989)

Race, Class and Gender in the Future of the Caribbean, Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean, Consortium Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of West Indies Publishers, Jamaica.

LAWRENCE, L. S. (1983)

'Women in Caribbean Literature- The African Presence' in Phylon, 44 (1), 1-11.


'Why Women take Men to Magistrate Courts- Caribbean Kinship Ideology and Law' in Ethnology, 30 (2), 119-133.

LYNCH, Rosylyn M. (1993)

Gender Differences in Labour Market Experience - The Case of University Graduates in the Eastern Caribbean, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Hull.

MASSIAH, Joycelin (1979)

Women in the Caribbean, An Annotated Bibliography, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Cave Hill, Barbados.

MASSIAH, Joycelin (1983)

Women as Heads of Households in the Caribbean, Family Structure and Feminine Status, UNESCO, Paris.

MASSIAH, J.(1986)

'Work in the Lives of Caribbean Women' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (2), 177-239.

MASSIAH, J.(1986)

'Women in the Caribbean Project- An Overview' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (2), 1-29.

MILLER, Errol (1988)

"The Rise of Matriarchy in the Caribbean' in Caribbean Quarterly, 34 (3-4), 1-20.

MOMSEN, Janet Henshall (1986)

Boesrup Revisited: Economic Restructuring and Gender Roles in the Caribbean, University of Newcastle.

MOMSEN, Janet Henshall (ed.) (1993)

Women and Change in the Caribbean: A Pan-Caribbean Perspective, J. Currey, Kingston.

MORRISSEY, Michael (1975)

Women in Jamaica, Department of Statistics, Jamaica.

MORRISSEY, M. (1989)

'Female Headed Households in Latin America and the Caribbean' in Sociological Spectrum, 9 (2), 197-200.

MORRISSEY, Marietta (1990)

Slave Women in the New World: Gender Stratification in the Caribbean, University Press of Kansas.

POWELL, D. (1984)

'The Role of Women in the Caribbean' in Social and Economic Studies, 33 (2), 97-122.

POWELL, D. (1986)

'Caribbean Women and their Response to Familial Experiences' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (2), 83-130.

REDDOCK, R. F. (1985)

'Women and Slavery in the Caribbean- a Feminist Perspective' in Latin American Perspectives, 12 (1), 63-80.

SAFA, Helen Icken (1995)

Myth of the Male Breadwinner: Women and Industrialization in the Caribbean, Conflict and Social Changes Series, Westview Press, Boulder.

SENIOR, Olive (1991)

Working Miracles: Women's Lives in the English Speaking Caribbean, J. Currey.

SHEPHERD, Verene (ed.) (1995)

Engendering History: Caribbean Women in the Historical Perspective, J. Currey.

STUART, Bertie A. Cohen (1979)

Women in the Caribbean, A Bibliography, Department of Caribbean Studies, Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology, Leiden.


The Legal Situation of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean Defined According to the Resolutions and Mandates of the United Nations System, Vol. 1: Basis, Proposals, Methodology and Information Analysis, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, Santiago, Chile.


The Decade for Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, Background and Prospects, United Nations, Santiago.


Major Changes and Crisis, the Impact on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations, Santiago.

WHITE, A. (1986)

'Women in the Caribbean Project' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (2), 59-81.

YELVINGTON, Kevin A. (1995)

Producing Power: Ethnicity, Gender and Class in the Caribbean Workplace, Temple University Press, Philadelphia.

YUDELMAN, Sally W. (1987)

Hopeful Openings, A Study of Five Women's Development Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Kumarian Press, West Hartford.

Gender and Education

BHASIN, Kamla & ELLIS, Pat (1984)

'Dialogue for Literacy: The Why and How of Literacy for Women: Some Thoughts of the Indian Context; and Women, Adult Education and Literacy: A Caribbean Perspective' in Convergence: An International Journal of Adult Education, 17 (4), 37-53.

ELLIS, Pat (1987)

'Women, Adult Education and Literacy: A Caribbean Perspective' in International Journal of Lifelong Education, 6 (1), 61-68.

ELLIS, Patricia (1991)

'The Need for Female Participation in Technical and Vocational Education in the Caribbean' in Journal of Cooperative Education, 26 (3), 77-81.

HAMILTON, Marlene A. (1981)

'The Prediction of Academic Success: An Interim Report' in Caribbean Journal of Education, 8 (1), 43 ff.

LEO-RHYNIE, Elsa (1989)

'Gender Issues in Education and Implications for Labour Force Participation' in HART, K. (ed.), Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean, University of West Indies Publishers, Jamaica.

MASSIAH, Joycelin (ed.) (1982)

Women and Education, Women in the Caribbean Project, Volume 5, Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of West Indies, Barbados.

MCKENZIE, H. (1986)

'The Educational Experiences of Caribbean Women' in Social and Economic Studies, 35(3), 65-105.

Individual islands

Antigua and Barbuda
Trinidad and Tobago

Antigua and Barbuda



'Bastardy, Gender Hierarchy and the State- The Politics of Family Law Reform in Antigua and Barbuda' in Law and Society Review, 26 (4), 863-899.



BARROW, C. (1986)

'Male Images of Women in Barbados' in Social and Economic Studies, 35 (3), 51-64.

LEVEY, D. E. & LERCH, P. B. (1991)

'Tourism as a Factor of Development - Implications for Gender and Work in Barbados' in Gender and Society, 5 (1), 67-85.



MARKS, A. F. (1979)

Male and Female and the Afro-Curacavan Household, YPEREN, Maria J. L. Van (trans. from the Dutch), Nijhoff, The Hague.



MAWHINNEY, A. M. (1990)

'Differential Fertility of Women of Dominica' in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 81 (2), 265.



LADUKE, B. (1984)

'Women, Art and Culture in the New Grenada' in Latin America Perspectives, 11 (3), 37-52.



CHARLES, C. (1995)

'Gender and Politics in Contemporary Haiti, a Duvalierist State: Transnationalism, and the Emergence of a New Feminism' in Feminist Studies, 21 (1), 135-164.

PASCAL, Trouillot Ertha (1983)

Analyse de la Legislation Révisant le Statut de la Femme Mariée, le Décret du 8 Octobre 1982 et le Code Civil, Henri Deschamps, Port-au-Prince.




'Women and Gender in Caribbean History' in History Workshop -A Journal of Socialist and Feminist Historians, Mona Jamaica, 37, 250-252.

COOPER, Carolyn (1993)

Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the Vulgar Body of Jamaican Popular Culture, University of Caribbean Studies, Macmillan, Caribbean.

HOTCHKISS, J. L. & MOORE, R. E. (1996)

'Gender Compensation Differentials in Jamaica' in Economic Development and Cultural Change, 44 (3), 657-676.

LAFONT, Suzanne (1995)

Emergence of an Afro-Caribbean Legal Tradition: Gender Relations and Family Courts in Kingston, Jamaica, Austin & Winfield.

SARGENT, C. & HARRIS, M. (1992)

'Gender Ideology, Child Rearing and Child Health in Jamaica' in American Ethnologist, 19 (3), 523-537.

SMITH, Honor Ford (ed.) (1986)

Lionheart Gal: Lives of Women in Jamaica, Sistren Theatre Collective, Women's Press.

STANDING, Guy (1981)

Unemployment and Female Labour, A Study of Labour in Kingston, Macmillan Publishers, London.

YELVINGTON, Kevin A. (1995)

Producing Power: Ethnicity, Gender and Class in a Caribbean Workplace, Temple University Press.

Gender and Education

MILLER, Errol (1986)

Marginalization of the Black Male: Insights from the Development of the Teaching Profession, ISER, Jamaica.

MILLER, Errol (1990)

Jamaican Society and High Schooling, Institute of Social and Economic Research, U.W.I., Jamaica, Chapter 7, 211-232.

MITCHELMORE, M. C. & CLARKE, N. M. A. (1993)

'Gender, Nutrition and School Achievement in Jamaica' in Social and Economic Studies, 42 (2-3), 117-134.


'Gender, Training and the Creation of a Managerial Elite -Multinationals and Other Firms in Jamaica' in Journal of Developing Areas, 28 (3), 313-324.


'Sex Roles and Secondary Education in Jamaica' in World Yearbook of Education: Women and Education, Kogan Page, London, 123-138.



PIERRE-CHARLES, Livie (1975)

Femmes et Chansons, Editions Louis Soulanges, Paris.



SKELTON, Tracey (1989)

Women, Men and Power: Gender Relations in Montserrat, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Trinidad and Tobago


DALY, Stephanie (1982)

The Developing Legal Status of Women in Trinidad and Tobago, National Commission on the Status of Women, Port of Spain.

DRIVER, E. D. & DRIVER, A. E. (1983)

'Gender, Society and Self- Conceptions- India, Iran, Trinidad -Tobago and the United States' in International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 24 (3-4), 200-217.

HAREWOOD, Jack (1978)

Female Fertility and Family Planning in Trinidad and Tobago, University of West Indies, Kingston.

MAHABIR, Kumar (1992)

East Indian Women of Trinidad and Tobago: an annotated bibliography, Chakra, Chaguanas.

REDDOCK, Rhoda (1994)

Women, Labour and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago: A History, Zed Books, London.

Gender and Education

DRAYTON, Kathleen B. (1989)

White Man's Knowledge: Sex, Race and Class in Caribbean English Language Textbooks, Women and Development Studies Seminar, University of West Indies (Mimeograph).

FOREMAN, Judith (1985)

'Schooling, Gender and Development in Trinidad and Tobago' in LILLIS, K. M. (ed.) School and Community in Less Developed Areas, Croom Helm, London, 228-257.

PAYNE, Monica A.(1989)

Differential Classroom Treatment of Male and Female Students, Women and Development Studies Seminar, University of West Indies (Mimeograph)

PAYNE, Monica A. (1989)

Sexuality and the Secondary School: Some Observations on Co-education and Single Sex Environments, Women and Development Studies Seminar, University of West Indies (Mimeograph)

Islands in the Indian ocean - Individual islands





Women in Figures, Numerical Designation, Government Printers, Port Louis.


The Ministry of Women's Rights and Family Affairs, Government Printers, Mauritius.


White Paper on Women in Development, Ministry of Women's Rights, Mauritius.


A Statistical Profile on Women in the Republic of Mauritius, Ministry of Women, Family Welfare and Child Development, Mauritius.




Visages de la Féminité, Recueil d'Articles, Centre de Recherches Littéraires et Historiques et Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche sur les Civilisations et Littératures du Monde Anglophone - Afro - Indianocéanique, Université de la Réunion.



BENEDICT, Burton (1967)

'The Equality of Sexes in the Seychelles' in Freedman, M. (ed.) Social Organisation, Cass & Co., London, 43-64.

BENEDICT, M. & B (1984)

Men, Women and Money in Seychelles, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.

BERGE, Gunvor (1987)

Hierarchy, Equality and Social Change: Exchange Processes on a Seychelles Plantation, Oslo Occasional Paper in Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Chapter 9.

PEDERSEN, J. (1987)

'Plantation Women and Children- Wage Labour, Adoption and Fertility in the Seychelles' in Ethnology, 26(1), 51-61.

ROBERTS, Maryse (1994)

National Report on the Situation of Women in Seychelles, National Gender Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Environment, (Mimeograph).

Islands in the South Pacific ocean



COX, Elizabeth (1988)

'Networking among the Rural Women in the Pacific' in ASPBAE Courier, 44, 6-16.

STRATHERN, Marilyn (ed.) (1987)

Dealing with Inequality: Analysing Gender Relations in Melanesia and Beyond, Essays by Members of the 1983/1984 Anthropological Group at the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

TONGAMOA, Taiamoni (ed.) (1988)

Pacific Women: Roles and Status in Pacific Societies, University of South Pacific, Fiji.

Gender and Education

MATTHEWSON, Claire (1992)

'Barriers to Educational Access: A Study of the Enrolment and Attrition Patterns of Pacific Islands Women' in Research in Distance Education, 4 (2), 2-4.

Individual islands

Solomon Islands
Western Samoa



BASOW, Susan A. (1986)

'Correlates of Sex- Typing in Fiji' in Psychology of Women Quarterly, 10 (4), 429-42.

BOLABOLA, Cema (1987)

An Experience of the Transfer of Appropriate Technology from Fiji to Kenya; The 1987 ISIS-WICCE Exchange Programme on Women and Appropriate Technology' in Asian South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education Courier, 41,20-26.

RENNIE, L. J. & DUNNE, M. (1994)

'Gender, Ethnicity and Students' Perceptions about Science and Science- Related Careers in Fiji' in Science Education, 78 (3), 285-300.


'Elopement in Urban Fiji- Body and Gender Images as Mediators in a Cleansing Process' in Journal of Polynesian Society, 102 (2), 115-128.

Gender and Education


'Problems of Women's Education in Fiji' in Women in Development in the South Pacific: Barriers and Opportunities, Papers Presented at a Conference held in Vanuatu, Development Studies Centre, Australian National University 11-14 August 1984.

Solomon Islands


DUREAU, C. (1993)

'Nobody Asked the Mother - Women and Maternity on Simbo, Western Solomon Islands' in Oceania, 64 (1), 18-35.

KEESING, R. M. (1985)

'Kwaio Women Speak- The Micropolitics of Autobiography in a Solomon Islands Society' in American Anthropologist, 87 (1), 27-39.



GAILEY, C.W. (1996)

'Women and Democratization Movement in Tonga- Nation Versus State, Authority Versus Power' in Women's Studies International Forum, 19 (1-2), 169-178.

JAMES, K. (1983)

'Gender Relations in Tonga 1780-1984' in Journal of the Polynesian Society, 92 (2), 233-243.

JAMES, K. E. (1991)

The Female Presence in Heavenly Places- Myth and Sovereignty in Tonga' in Oceania, 61 (4), 287-308.

OLSON, F. (1994)

'Female Voices of Aggression in Tonga' in Sex Roles, 30 (3-4), 237-248.



BEDFORD, Richard (ed.) (1989)

Population of Vanuatu: Analysis of 1979 Census, Population Monograph, 2, South Pacific Commission, Noumea.

BONNEMAISON, Joel (1974)

'Changements dans la Vie Rurale et Mutations Migratoires aux Nouvelles - Hébrides' in Cahiers ORSTOM: Série Sciences Humaines, 11 (3-4), ORSTOM, Paris, 259-286.

FORD, Donna-Mae (1994)

The Viability of Primary Health Care for Women's Health: An Ethnographic Study of Women's Health Beliefs, Values and Practices in Rural Vanuatu, University of Alberta, Canada.

JOLLY, M. (1987)

The Forgotten Women: A History of Migrant Labour and Gender Relationships in Vanuatu' in Oceania, 58 (2), 119-139.

JOLLY, Margaret (1994)

Women of the Place: Kastom, Colonialisation and Gender in Vanuatu, Studies in Anthropological Series, Gordon and Breach.

MOLISA, Grace (1985)

'Vanuatu Women's Development Since Independence' in Women and Development in the South Pacific, Canberra Development Studies Centre, ANU, 215-217.

RARUA, Kathleen (1988)

'Vanuatu' in Tongamoa, Taiamoni (ed.) Pacific Women -Roles and Status in Pacific Societies, University of South Pacific, 76-87.


Demographic Analysis: Marriage, Fertility and Infant Mortality- Vanuatu Urban Census 1986, National Planning and Statistics Office, Port Vila.


Second National Development Plan 1987-91, Women in Development, Chapters 19 (1) & 14 (2).

WALTER, A. (1985)

'L'épouser hier et Aujourd'hui - Quelques Notes Sur les Stratégies Matrimoniales à Vanuatu', Anthropologie-Document de Travail, 5, Port Vila.

WALTER, A. (1988)

Naissance et Maternite à Vanuatu, Anthropologie Document de Travail, 8, ORSTOM, Port Vila.

Gender and Education

BROCK, C. & CAMMISH, Nadine (1994)

Factors Affecting Female Participation in Education in six Developing Countries, Overseas Development Administration, ODA Research Project 4532 Serial No. 9, London (includes Vanuatu). NEW EDITION NOW PUBLISHED AS COMPANION VOLUME TO THIS.

CAMMISH, Nadine (1994)

'Island Daughters: Factors Affecting the Education of Girls in Vanuatu' in Compare, 24 (2), 139-155.

Western Samoa

Gender and Education

FAIRBAIRN, Dunlop P. (1991)

'E au le Inailau a Tamaitai': Women, Education and Development, Western Samoa, Ph.D. Thesis, Macquire University, North Ryde, NSW.

Annotations - Tropical islands in the Caribbean

Individual countries
Pacific islands - General
Indian ocean - Individual countries

Individual countries



MILLER, Errol 1986 Marginalisation of the Black Male: insights from the Development of the Teaching Profession, ISER, U.W.I.

Unlike many of the other countries in this Bibliography, Jamaica has a good record in girls' education; in fact the girls out-perform the boys. Girls out-number boys in traditional high, private high and comprehensive high schools, all of which enjoy higher social status and are seen as more effective agents of upward social mobility than the new secondary schools where boys out-number girls. Among Jamaican full-time degree students at the University of the West Indies in 1984-85 females out-numbered males (53.9% to 46.1%), although not in mathematics or physical sciences. The teaching profession is predominantly female (87.3% in primary & all-age schools; 65.9% in secondary schools) although men do hold a disproportionate number of head-teacher posts in the school system. In this book Errol Miller examines the evolution of the teaching profession and the teacher-training colleges in Jamaica and, with particular reference to the effects of the last decade of the nineteenth century, advances the hypothesis that-

"Primary school teaching and teacher education shifted from being male dominated to being female dominated as a result of the intention of the ruling class to release black men from service type occupations to make them available for agricultural & industrial labour, and to stifle the possible emergence of militant black educated men who could possibly overthrow the power structure", (p73).

Miller argues that as result, a fundamental shift in socialization orientation took place during the 1900-1956 period:

"Because of the fundamental influence of the primary school and the teachers' college on black rural life, the change of opportunity from boy to girl, from son to daughter (in terms of educational opportunity & middle class employment prospects in teaching) brought about a significant change in the socialization of boys & girls," (p.70)

Black girls began to achieve more educationally than boys and this phenonomen continues today, contributing to the marginalisation of the black male. Jamaica is one of the few countries in the world, as Miller points out, in which there are more illiterate men than women in the population.

Miller outlines a similar pattern in the institutional provision for high schooling which favoured girls in the post-war and post-Independence period, in his book Jamaican Society and High Schooling (1990) q.v., Chapter Seven.

LEO-RHYNIE, Elsa 'Gender issues in education and implications for Labour force participation', in K. HART (Ed) Women and the sexual division of labour in the Caribbean, U.W.I., Jamaica, 1989, p. 81-97.

Whilst Errol Miller (q.v.) argues his theory of the marginalisation of the black male, Elsa Leo-Rhynie points out that access to high school education and gender/subject choice orientation are two features of the Jamaican system of education which reveal gender difference and discrimination against girls. She shows how in the selection examination for high schools "lower-scoring boys are awarded places for which higher-scoring girls are better qualified", (p.84). Although girls perform better on entry to secondary school, it is disturbing that there is a tendency for them to make sex-stereotyped choices in the opportunities offered in secondary education. Even in academic streams more girls chose biology and more boys do physics. At 'A' level, entries for girls have been higher in the arts & for boys in science even though overall girls continue to have higher pass rates. Interestingly, girls of comparable socio-economic status attending single-sex and co-educational schools have been shown to have differing examination entry and performance rates: girls in girls' schools entered for more subjects and were more successful than girls in co-educational schools. Despite the worry of the alienation of boys, many of whom tend to truant or not to achieve at the expected levels, and despite the undeniable academic success of girls, the author stresses that there are still problems as far as girls are concerned. One is that of the high teenage pregnancy rate. The other is the self-image which girls develop despite their success in school, resulting in sex-stereotyped choices of courses and jobs. There is moreover clear gender differentiation in the work force: the majority of women are in lower status and lower paid jobs. (See also Hamilton, M. and Leo-Rhynie, E., 1984)

Pacific islands - General


TONGAMOA, Taiamoni (Ed.) (1988) Pacific Women: roles and status of women in Pacific Societies, University of the South Pacific, Fiji.

This small book (104pp) is useful as an introduction to the present-day situation of women in the South Pacific and offers chapters on Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Studies represent the personal views of women who have grown up in the islands. Each chapter follows the same pattern: first there is a general introduction to the role & status of women in the particular island group which covers such aspects as traditional custom, legal status, employment, education & politics, etc. This is followed by four case studies and then a discussion of the findings. The women chosen for the case studies represent a range of experience: urban & rural, literate and illiterate, employed and unemployed, living a traditional life-style or working as a trained professional.

Tongamoa, in her Overview (Chapter 6), points out that such is the cultural diversity among the various Pacific societies, that it is impossible to generalise very far about the cultural patterns, practices & activities relating to women. In the past, the seemingly unfair division of labour and the relatively low status of women were not points of complaint:

"The islanders were not conscious of any competition between men and women, because they perceived their ascribed and traditional roles and responsibilities as being divinely sanctioned & unchangeable, to be carried out for the benefit of everybody in the family and the community", (p89).

Since contact with Western culture however, the established co-existence of females and males in traditional Pacific societies has become a point of controversy. The unequal division of labour in particular has been questioned by educated women. Some of the women surveyed were reluctant to accept change but the case studies reveal that women are increasingly involved in formal education, employment and politics. Education and jobs give women more independence not only from men but also from their kin networks and lead towards increased individualism. In this context, says Tongamoa, "economic independence causes a reorganisation of traditional structures", (p91). In community-based societies like those of the Pacific Islands, the effect is all the more significant.



CAMMISH, Nadine K. (1994) 'Island daughters: factors affecting the education girls in Vanuatu', Compare, 24 (2), p. 139-155.

Although there are many anthropological studies on the Melanesian women of Vanuatu, very little has been written about gender and education in the islands apart from this article. Based on fieldwork which formed part of an ODA sponsored study Female participation in education in six developing countries (Brock and Cammish, 1991/4, q.v.), it examines the geographical, socio-cultural, health, economic, legal and politico-administrative factors which affect girls' participation in education and also looks at factors arising from within the education system itself. Census data, figures from the Ministry of Education and results from the fieldwork survey of primary six pupils' perceptions about girls' education provide useful documentation not easily available elsewhere. The evidence shows that the urban/rural dichotomy which marks girls' access to education in many developing countries, is particularly strong in Vanuatu as is the core/periphery syndrome: remoteness affects both the availability and accessibility of schooling, and preserves traditional socio-cultural attitudes. Primary 6 girls in Port Vila, the tiny capital, confidently expect to go to secondary school & to get jobs in banks and offices. Those living on remoter islands may not even go to school at all, even when one is available: tradition assigns them to working in subsistence agriculture.

Despite problems of accessibility of schools and the traditional low status of girls in Vanuatu, however, the percentage of them enrolling in Primary School has increased rapidly over the last few years and more girls are staying on longer. Between 1979 and 1989 the percentage of girls who had completed 6 or more years of education rose from 54% to 70%. At the secondary level however, the limited number of junior secondary places available, added to problems of distance & accessibility, would seem to preclude any rapid extension of secondary education for either sex, but some new schools are being built.

Indian ocean - Individual countries



MINISTRY of WOMEN, FAMILY WELFARE and CHILD DEVELOPMENT (1996) A Statistical Profile on Women in the Republic of Mauritius, Government of Mauritius, Mauritius.

When one has laboured, sometimes in vain, in other developing countries, to find statistics relating to the female part of the population, it is a delight to find the necessary basic information gathered together in one slim volume (49 pp). Information is available for the Republic as a whole and in disaggregrated form for Mauritius and Rodrigues. The statistics cover population by age and sex, females by age and marital status, marriage and divorce, birth and fertility, and death and life expectancy. There is full and useful information on education: illiteracy rates, nursery/primary/secondary enrolment figures by age and sex, examination passes and percentage of women teachers by level 1988-94. The section on employment gives figures for the main occupations in the islands and details of social benefits. There are also tables on employees in Government Services by Ministry & by sex, and on the electorate and elected representatives. This is a very useful source of reference and is available from the Ministry concerned.



BENEDICT, M & B (1984) Men, Women and Money in Seychelles, California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles.

Little is available on gender, education & development in Seychelles. A forth-coming publication on girls' participation in education was unfortunately not ready in time to include it in this Bibliography but there is an up-to-date study by Maryse Roberts National Report on the Situation of Women in Seychelles (q.v.) covering women's present-day status and legal rights, obtainable from the Seychelles National Gender Unit. The publications of Burton Benedict, spanning over twenty-five years, have analysed the whole social fabric of the Seychelles but this 1984 publication examines in particular male/female domestic relationships. Only Part 2 of the book, by Burton Benedict himself, is considered in this annotation.

Benedict discusses the matricentred nature of the traditional Seychellois family structure and explores the roots of the traditions in the history of slavery and employment in the islands. In later chapters his research data enables him to make detailed comparisons between 1960 and 1975 for employment, class & mobility, domestic expenditure, etc. He argues that: "Money symbolises relations between the sexes over the course of the life cycle", (p182). He goes on to say that, "In Seychelles a man is a male with money. A male without money is not a man but a dependant, a boy, a sponger, a dotard", (p183) and again: "a woman is a female with children, just as a man is a male with money", (p201). Commenting on the traditional arrangements in poorer households, he points out that-

"The pattern of expenditure found in the so-called matrifocal households of the lower economic class does not really indicate that women are in charge. It simply means that virtually all money has to be spent on subsistence. Once the wages rise above subsistence level, the men take over", (p216).

Chapter 19 deals in detail with marriage and concubinage (known in Seychelles as living en ménage), and explores the attitudes of men and women to one another in various kinship groups. For those who are in marriage or en ménage relationships, Benedict emphasises that sexual relations entail obligations of maintenance both in monetary terms & in terms of domestic labour. Failure to fulfil these obligations leads to fights. The concept of "household" has a certain fluidity in that a Seychellois man may be a "member" of more than one household in terms of recognising financial obligations to other households containing parents, children, siblings, or lovers, (p250). Women's family networks (chapter 20) are strong and operate apart from and to some extent against men:

"Men are necessary to support [them] with their earnings, but they enter into [them] only peripherally as brothers and sons, scarcely at all as fathers and husbands", (p260).

Men and women's very differing roles often bring them into conflict: a woman needs a man's earning capacity and a man needs a woman's domestic services but in the Seychelles context these needs can conflict rather than being complementary.

Although Benedict's data relates to the 1960-75 period, his analysis is useful for an understanding of the traditions underlying life in Seychelles today. It is also interesting as a basis for comparing the Seychelles with islands in the Caribbean in terms of the role and status of women and the academic success of girls in the education system.

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