We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

What labour engenders : women and men, time and work in the New Guinea highlands.

Sillitoe, P. (2006) 'What labour engenders : women and men, time and work in the New Guinea highlands.', Asia Pacific journal of anthropology., 7 (2). pp. 119-151.


Debates over equality in New Guinea have raged for years. While people may subscribe to egalitarian values, this seems hollow to some observers in the context of relations between women and men, notably the sexual division of labour. Some even talk of men exploiting the labour of women. This paper considers the validity of these claims in the Was valley of the Southern Highlands Province, using data collected in a time-budget survey conducted to document and assess differences between women’s and men’s activities. It also reviews ideas of time expended undertaking any activity, and the relevance of notions of work and labour to people’s daily routines. It questions the propriety of introducing the capitalism’s preoccupation with labour. Differences in the activities of women and men far from evidencing relations of inequality are significant for such stateless political orders in eschewing hierarchical arrangements, where no one exercises control over resources or capital needed by others to secure livelihoods.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:New Guinea, Time, Sexual division of labour, Economic anthropology, Work, Gender.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an electronic version of an article published in The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Volume 7, Issue 2 August 2006 , pages 119 - 151. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology is available online at:
Record Created:01 Jun 2007
Last Modified:01 Sep 2011 09:42

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library