Change in Attitudes Beliefs and Practices Regarding Gender

Modern education in village schools or the only high school (in Losuia) has reduced the difference in daily activities between girls and boys and will most likely lead to women gaining more influence in the families and the public arena. In recent years a number of young and middle-aged women have decided to receive contraceptive injections every 3 months in order to reduce the number of pregnancies and children—condoms are freely available, but have not been a success. Their decision is in line with a general concern that the fast-growing population will exceed resources in the gardens and the sea. On the other hand, young couples marry earlier and, probably more significantly for the overpopulation problem, do not follow post-partum coitus taboo which was still strictly obeyed even a decade ago. It seems that the partners do not want to abstain from sex for a period exceeding a year, and therefore young women are weaning their infants earlier. This has already led to less spacing between siblings (the interval in the past was 2-3 years) and consequently an ever-increasing number of children. Another change has been produced by women forming socially, politically, and partly economically active groups, mainly in the framework of the churches. Given that politics in Papua New Guina is an almost exclusively male and unfortunately often very corrupt sphere of public life, the entry of Trobriand women into the political arena may help to solve some of the most pressing problems of this emerging nation.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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