Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective



Many comments were made on the sexist content of children's books, separate subjects being taught to boys and girls in schools, the irrelevance of some school curricula in providing knowledge to meet the everyday needs of people's lives. Women needed to be taught skills and to acquire knowledge of their choice - which meant a much wider range of information than was generally available. A woman's gender did affect what she could learn traditionally and in the school system.

Black and white photograph of children reading in the classroom.

page 106

Education, formal and informal, tended to reinforce women's roles. In traditional society, some areas of knowledge eg. traditional medicine, were only held by men, yet women were expected to care for children when they were sick. Some aspects of agriculture and fishing were other areas of traditional knowledge kept exclusive to men.

In a family, when choices were made on which children should go on in the formal school system, girls were discriminated against. If money was scarce, girls were pulled out of school first. One participant disagreed, and said that girls were supported in school by their families if they did well; it was regarded as an investment for girls to give them an education because girls were more likely to take care of their parents later. Married women were sometimes discriminated against in government or in private employment, by not being given study grants; and women were expected to follow their husband's career rather than the other way around, when public service training, appointments or scholarships were decided.