NAURU: GENDER ROLES AND STATUSES OF NAURU

Tags

Division of Labor by Gender. A division of labor by gender is not easily defined. The matrilineal social system gives women a lot of power, so they lead behind the scenes, while men take the political roles in government. Civil Service consists of mostly male heads with women seeking these jobs in the past 20 years. Two of the diplomats in overseas postings have been women. Most of the primary school teachers are women, while men are active in phosphate management. The term "division of labor" is no longer appropriate.

Workers at a phosphate mine in Nauru. Phosphate revenues are the mainstay of the economy, however, the interior four-fifths of the island has been mined out.
Workers at a phosphate mine in Nauru. Phosphate revenues are the mainstay of the economy, however, the interior four-fifths of the island has been mined out.

The Relative Status of Women and Men.

Nauruans maintain social ties through the mother (matrilineal ties). Mothers are the anchor persons of kin groups and residential groups, and ties between sisters and brothers are strong. Women are the main care givers within and between households, but they have entered the workforce in considerable numbers in the last fifteen years. Men predominate in political affairs and all senior government positions. Only two women have shared political office at any one time. Male leadership has dominated Nauru's external affairs. Women are active in the National Council of Women and in church committees.