Conflicts Over Credit: Challenges to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Solomon Islands


The practice of giving to others is generally considered a central characteristic of Melanesian cultures, including Solomon Islands where giving is deemed to be a cultural and moral imperative. People are encouraged to be generous and to share with family and other relatives who may be in need, and this system of helping wantoks is often considered to be a social safety net and social protection. However, an aura of romanticism sometimes surrounds giving and such positive glosses tend to ignore the fact that people often give because they feel compelled to give. This is demonstrated in the requests made by relatives who confidently expect that such requests will be acceded to. Failure to comply can have unpleasant consequences, for a person who does not yield to such requests may be subjected to social ostracism. This In Brief looks at the challenges to women’s economic empowerment posed by the cultural pressure to give.

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Journal Article
Submitted by Toksave
March 22, 2021
Published in
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