11 Dec 2007

Study into Pacific matrilineal land tenure published

2:13 pm on 11 December 2007

An innovative study into matrilineal land tenure and management in three Pacific countries is being published.

The book combines studies by several researchers of women's relationship to land management in Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.

The research found that in the Marshall Islands, women were very prominent in making decisions on land issues, but still lacked representation at a political level.

But in Vanuatu, women were largely excluded and in Solomon Islands, women in Guadalcanal were excluded in decisions relating to mining and large scale developments - even though they own the land.

The Associate professor at USP's Institute of Pacific Studies and Publications, Dr Elise Huffer, says the study is the first major study since the mid 1980s.

"There's a lack of published materials on women and land. Really there's not a lot of data at a time the region is re-looking at land tenure and management and there is pressure on countries to reform land tenure. And there's a real lack of data on women and land."

Dr Elise Huffer says there is a need for more research into women and land.