This epilogue reflects on five questions raised by the papers in this collection. First, I ask 'what are women's groups'. Second, I consider the centrality of Christianity in women's groups in colonial and contemporary epochs and review debates about how women's agency has been seen in becoming a Christian and in the perduring reality of Christian commitment. Third, I ponder the expansion of agendas from 'welfare to empowerment' and the proposition that even groups with conservative agendas can empower women. Fourth, I review the relation between self-help and help from others and the associated issue of divergent local and global agendas. Fifth, I consider the differences between women grounded in age, rank, and class, highlighted by several authors. I caution against seeing such differences as irredeemable, irrevocable divisions. In conclusion, I pose the sensitive question of the relation between Western feminist scholars and the diversity of Melanesian women and espouse Teresia Teaiwa's value of Oceanic fluidarity rather than solidarity in coalitions of women.
|1 & 2
|Published - 2003