Standards Of Gender Equality Are Assessment

Length: 8 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Sports - Women Type: Assessment Paper: #16717683 Related Topics: Status Quo, Miranda Rights, Idiom, Gender Issues
Excerpt from Assessment :

(2003, p. 136)

Other manifestations of kastom also indicate the concept's gender-related impact on a modern Pacific state. For example, Gregor and Tuzin (2001) cite the kastom communities of South Pentecost as a good example of how male-dominated societal practices have been used to maintain the status quo. Described by Gregor and Tuzin as "a tiny traditionalist enclave in a pervasively Christian country," these authors report that "there are still tenacious patterns of sexual segregation -- exclusivist men's houses, or mal, separate from the household im and commensal separation therein, with men's and women's cooking fires" in South Pentecost (2001, p. 178). These long-held beliefs that have assigned Vanuatun men the long end of the social stick have somewhat morphed the original kastom concept into a more modern version that remains centered on protected the status quo. In this regard, Gregor and Tuzin emphasize that, "Such gendered patterns of spatiality were attacked by Christian missionaries and abandoned by most ni -- Vanuatu decades ago. But even in traditionalist villages -- because of young men departing as indentured and later wage laborers to plantations and towns, the intrusions of commodity values, and the influences of a colonial and now an independent state -- we witness a transformed and perhaps more trenchant form of male domination" (2001, p. 179).

By contrast, some progress has been made in overcoming kastom's lingering effects. In Papua New Guinea, for example, Scaglion (2003) reports that, "Traditional customs (called kastom) have been largely replaced by a belief in komuniti (community), an envisaged state of modernity not yet attained" (p. 224). The process taking place in New Guinea appears to be pragmatically inspired and is directly related to economic and social needs. In this regard, Scaglion notes that, "Village discourse on change now contrasts kastom with komuniti, which has become a symbol for desired economic and social development. Feeling increasingly marginalized, villagers have tamed to a variety of strategies for improving their condition" (2003, p. 224).

These developmental strategies have included various entrepreneurial endeavors as well as new religious practices, but the results have been mixed and largely ineffectual (Scaglion 2003). As Scaglion points out, "Development has been elusive, and people are still searching for new strategies and new frames of orientation. Despite the current distaste for 'tradition,' those business ventures that have been most successful seem to have capitalized on longstanding patterns of reciprocity and exchange" (2003, p. 224). The incremental process that is required in order to overcome long-standing kastom practices that is playing out in New Guinea may mirror those that will be required elsewhere in the Pacific state where kastom remains a powerful influence. For instance, Scaglion concludes that, "At the same time, many villagers believe that a residual implicit customary habitus is impeding progress towards modernity, although most explicit manifestations of traditional cultural patterns have been abandoned" (2003, p. 224). While Troost (2000) also identified non-kastom villages in New Guinea, he also identified many that remained adamantly tied to the "traditional ways" in response to continuous outside influences. For instance, according to Troost, "Missionaries, traders, planters, colonists, soldiers, tourists, and the international aid community...


2629). In some cases, this response has created the perfect environment for using the "traditional ways" to justify male-dominated practices in ways that are difficult or impossible for women to refute. For instance, Troost notes that, "Yakel is one of several villages on the island to have forsaken modernity entirely. Its people live according to the dictates of kastom, or 'the old ways,' in which religion, tradition, and the harvest are intertwined" (2000, p. 2629). With little or no contact with the outside world, it is interesting to note how these different villages in the same country have responded to the modernity forces of the 21st century, with some withdrawing entirely into a kastom-driven world while others have embraced gender-equality from a strictly pragmatic perspective based on economic needs. In many cases, a gradual and incremental process is being used to replace kastom with more enlightened approaches to gender equality. Despite this progress, though, it is readily apparent that kastom will likely remain a highly influential social force in some parts of the modern Pacific state for the foreseeable future.


The research showed that when it comes to painting the modern Pacific state in any fashion, a very broad brush is required. This was particularly the case with the effects of kastom on inhibiting contemporary standards of gender equality in the modern Pacific state. Some regions of the state were found to be mired in the male-dominated "traditional ways" that did in fact adversely affect the ability of women to gain gender equality, while in others there was a gradually process underway to replace these outmoded institutions. Indeed, in the highly urbanized major cities of the modern Pacific state, it is reasonable to suggest that the influence of kastom is highly limited, nonexistent or even purposely ignored. While it would be shortsighted to conclude that kastom will prevent women from gaining gender equality in the modern Pacific state, the research was consistent in showing that it is going to take some time to do so.


Colchester, C. 2003 Clothing the Pacific. Oxford, England: Berg.

Gregor, T.A. & Tuzin, D. 2001 Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia: An Exploration of the Comparative Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Kapferer, B. 2003 Beyond Rationalism: Rethinking Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery. New York:

Berghahn Books.

Rodman, M.C. 1987 Masters of Tradition: Consequences of Customary Land Tenure in Longana, Vanuatu. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.

Scaglion, R. 2003 'Kastom or Komuniti: A Study of Social Process and Change among the Wam


Sources Used in Documents:


Colchester, C. 2003 Clothing the Pacific. Oxford, England: Berg.

Gregor, T.A. & Tuzin, D. 2001 Gender in Amazonia and Melanesia: An Exploration of the Comparative Method. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Kapferer, B. 2003 Beyond Rationalism: Rethinking Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery. New York:

Berghahn Books.

Cite this Document:

"Standards Of Gender Equality Are" (2011, April 08) Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

"Standards Of Gender Equality Are" 08 April 2011. Web.27 June. 2022. <>

"Standards Of Gender Equality Are", 08 April 2011, Accessed.27 June. 2022,

Related Documents
Gender-Based Sexual Inequality Gender Equality
Words: 1500 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality Paper #: 38089880

" Conclusion: The gender-based sexual double standard is logically indefensible on any level. Piercing the thin veil of justifications offered supporting it requires little more than substitution of the identity of the subjects in any hypothetical or analogy based on the premise. Nevertheless, it persists throughout most of American culture, and sadly, its manifestations in the Western World are infinitely more benign than the cruelty it inspires elsewhere. Ultimately, its roots lie both

Gender Role Analysis How Gender Is Shaped
Words: 2342 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality Paper #: 71300135

Gender Role Analysis How Gender is Shaped by Education How Gender is Shaped by Public Policy How Gender is Shaped in the Workplace This report discusses the role played by social institutions such as schools, workplaces and policy making institutions in the shaping of gender roles and norms in society. These institutions hold control over desired resources such as information, wealth and social progress. They control the distribution of these resources by making it

Gender Inequality in Hong Kong Wage Discrimination
Words: 2242 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 58930175

Gender Inequality in Hong Kong Wage discrimination is the discrepancy of wages between two groups due to a bias towards or against a specific trait with all other characteristics of both groups being equivalent. In the case of gender inequality, wage discrimination exists between the male and female gender. Historically, gender inequality has favored men over similarly qualified women (Kwong, 1999). In Hong Kong, Article 19 of the Bill of Rights

Gender Differences in Leadership
Words: 1879 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Leadership Paper #: 42000228

Gender Differences in Leadersdhip Gender Differences in Leadership Is it possible to have different women and men leaders? This is a question surrounded with substantial controversy. However, the notion that there is a difference in the way men and women lead is dominant in management literature, which provides information for practicing managers. Some scholars who support this difference suggest that women have a "female voice" overlooked in theory and research. On the

Gender Discrimination Despite the Best
Words: 1884 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 6738313

One of the problems with discrimination laws is that they the law does not have the power to completely cure social problems. For example, affirmative action was a necessary part of the effort towards equality because many employers were simply unwilling to give woman an equal chance at job opportunities. However, many areas of overt gender discrimination have been cured, or cannot be cured by quotas because of a lack

Gender and Power in Beauty
Words: 2160 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice - Juvenile Delinquency Paper #: 48796584

It has kept going ever since" (Cavendish, 2001, p. 66). Morley's wife, Julia (a former beauty pageant winner) joined him in 1970 to help organize the competition to help maintain the contestants' morals and to ensure their modesty was suitably protected ("not invariably with success") (Cavendish, p. 67). Miss World has subsequently attracted television audiences in almost every country in the world and has earned an enormous amount of