Modern Papua New Guinea

By Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi | Go to book overview

Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi


WOMEN IN TOWN
Housewives, Homemakers and Household
Managers

ACCOUNTS OF THE LIVES OF Papua New Guinean women in town are sparse.1 Early on there was Oeser's work on the urban adaptation of women in Hohola—Papua New Guinea's first low-cost housing estate (1969)—and Whiteman's work on Chimbu family relations in Port Moresby (1973). More recently there are Rosi and Zimmer-Tamakoshi's paper on elite marriage (1993), Zimmer-Tamakoshi's short biography of a former Air Niugini air hostess (1996a), and Josephine Abaijah's semifictional portrayal of her rise to political prominence in colonial Papua New Guinea (1991). Other works on urban women focus on specific problems such as violence against women and women's involvement in crime (Borrey 1994; Dinnen 1993; Toft 1985, 1986; Zimmer 1990; Zimmer-Tamakoshi 1997c), and women's unequal participation in education (Weeks 1977; Wormald and Crossley 1988) and development (King et al. 1985; Stratigos and Hughes 1987).

Although not well documented, the lives and domestic relations of urban women vary significantly according to the contributions they are able to make to household affairs and men's perceptions of the rela-

1 This paper is based on fieldwork carried out between 1982 and T995, including fifteen months in Gende villages in Madang Province, several months in towns others than Port Moresby and Goroka, a total of three months in the Goroka settlement described in this paper, three and a half years teaching at the University of Papua New Guinea and doing research in Port Moresby, and more recent visits focusing on agricultural and mining developments involving Gende and other Madang Province peoples.

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