Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean

Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean

Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean

Women and the Sexual Division of Labour in the Caribbean

Excerpt

(March 1989, Cambridge)

Keith Hart

This volume is more modest in scope than its grand title. It consists of a broad essay in evolutionary anthropology, a review of labour market theories, an application of general theory to the social history of sex divisions in Trinidad and four case studies of women's work in Jamaica, the country in which the original presentations were made. It is a report of a series of seminars held during February and March 1987. As is often the case, there was much more talk of and by women than of and by men; hence the title of this book.

It was a time of considerable feminist activity. Social and Economic Studies had recently produced its two-volume special edition on Women in the Caribbean [1986], covering a wider range of topics in relation to the Eastern Caribbean. Sistren vivid Lionheart Gal [1986], a series of autobiographical accounts by Jamaican women, had just come out. There was controversy in Jamaica over the low proportion of boys winning places in the high school common entrance examination, a controversy fuelled by the publication of Errol Miller Marginalization of the Black Male [1986]. The women's groups on all campuses of the UWI were active and vocal; and a masters degree in women's studies was being prepared. The sponsors of these seminars -- the Consortium Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Women and Development Studies Project -- were aware of the lively interest in the topic; and this was reflected in the large numbers who attended each session.

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