Coffee is Men’s Business

Date created: 22 December 2021

Men’s control of coffee in Papua New Guinea is not only an artefact of colonial agricultural extension but also a consequence of gender norms and the system of land tenure that privileges men. Due to the historic association of coffee with ‘men’s business’, men tend to see coffee income as largely their own, despite women working in coffee production. This research with coffee smallholders showed that money was the most common reason for arguments between couples, with 37.8% of women and 38% of men saying this was what they argued over. When women talk about arguments over money, they are generally referring to arguments over the disposal of coffee income. Marital conflicts over coffee income, and especially men’s resource-depleting misuse of that income, are common, particularly during and following coffee harvesting season. In recognition of the unfairness involved, some men and women in the research communities saw a need to challenge the current gender order and to adopt more gender-equitable customs about the key resource of land. This includes the need for empowering women’s ownership of land, to give them security in the event of divorce.

Data and Resources

Issued 2021-12-21T22:01:13.696173
Modified 2017-12-13
DCAT Type Text
Publisher Name
  • Richard Eves
  • Asha Titus