After obtaining independence through a Compact of Free Association with the United States in 1986, the Federated States of Micronesia, located in the Pacific Ocean, established a constitutional government. As a nation comprising more than 600 islands spread along the Equator in the western Pacific Ocean, Micronesians are ethnically diverse. The largest ethnic groups are the Chuukese (48.8 percent) and the Pohnpeian (24.2 percent).

Social Structure and Women's Roles

Micronesian society continues to be strongly hierarchical, and although the constitution bans gender discrimination, women are viewed largely by their reproductive and familial roles. Women who do work are generally relegated to entry-level jobs. Few women have been able to break down barriers that have prevented them from joining the ranks of decision makers. There are no women ...

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