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Women Speak Out! A Report of the Pacific Women's Conference. October 27 – November 2

New Hebrides

New Hebrides

What is the position of a woman in the village? According to New Hebridean custom, a woman's place is always in page 5
Black and white photograph of a woman at work.

In Tonga women have traditional duties but when visitors came women generally retire.

Black and white photograph of women at work. page 6
Black and white photograph of a woman in traditional dress.

“A woman is never independent from the time she is single and through marriage.” (Solomon Islands)

page 7 the home. She is there to look after the children, prepare food and all the domestic stuff. When a girl is born into the family she's automatically trained to be in the home with the mother and to help out on domestic work, and from then up to now, whenever a baby girl is born, fathers are usually sad and cross because they would rather have a boy so that he can follow the footsteps of the father. They reckon that when the girl grows up she won't be able to do what the man can. (But if they were here today, they would see the difference!) Decisions by any mothers in the home are always finalised by the father. For example, I told you about the two different systems of education, so we have British and French schools. Here then, the father decides which child is to attend which school. The mother has no say, because she has no power over her husband or they might differ.