IB2014/30 Gender Norms in Transition - Conversations on Ideal Images with Women and Men in Fiji

Priya Chattier

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    There continues to be a great deal of debate about whether women's entry into paid work represents empowerment or exploitation. Far less attention has been paid to how men have responded to the challenge posed by women's paid work to their traditional roles as family breadwinners. It is clear that male breadwinner ideologies are both pervasive and persistent, so we could expect some amount of resistance from men. This is certainly the story that is emerging from a World Bank study in Fiji (2012) €“ with one caveat: it is mainly from men in their roles as husbands rather than as fathers, brothers or sons that this resistance is seen- and their resistance is aimed at changing gender roles. It appears that the male sense of identity and power is far more closely bound to their dominant roles as male breadwinner of the family. The complex negotiations through which women and men are attempting to come to terms with women's increasingly visible role as breadwinners is leading to unexpected reconfigurations of personal and family life. This paper argues that it is yet not clear whether these reconfigurations represent a crisis of masculinity or women's pathway to empowerment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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