The Republic of Palau, which is made up of a group of islands located in the North Pacific Ocean, was once part of the Caroline Islands. In 1978, the people of the islands chose to become independent rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. Palau ultimately attained independence in 1994. Tradition continues to govern many aspects of life in Palau, and women play an important role because the basic family is defined as a mother and her children. Groups of families make up clans. Ranking female members work with the other leaders to elect a meal leader for each clan. A separate council with equal status is composed of ranking female members. A council composed of clan chiefs from 16 states serves as advisers ...

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