Changes in gender roles

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BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE

IN Solomon Islands, how women earn an income is not only challenged by local conditions but by social and gender norms.

Australian National University’s Associate Professor Richard Eves of Pacific Affairs Department discussed the above at last week’s Research Launch programme.

Mr Eves spoke on the kinds of social and gender norms that are perceived as appropriate behaviour for women and how it affects a woman’s mobility. Domestic labour and care responsibilities place restrictions on women in how they earn an income.

“Domestic labour and care responsibilities also impose constraints on women, so that they may not be able to devote long periods at markets or away from home earning an income,” he said.

Eves said although gender norms specify women as the responsible gender for unpaid household labour and childcare, some changes have changed these norms.

Regarding these changes, he said that what they found from communities that received gender awareness training, forums for discussions of gender roles and had economic empowerment programming introduced was a change in gender roles.

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