Uduch Sengebau Senior, current Vice President of Palau
Sandra Pierantozzi, former Vice President of Palau
A portrait of a group of women in Palau and a boy, 1915.

Women in Palau, known also as Palauan women, Belauan women, Pelew (archaic English) women, or Women of Los Palaos Islands (Spanish influenced name) are women who live in or are from Palau. Historically, there was a strong "gendered division of labor" between women and men of Palau.

Historical context

To women belonged activities like farming and collection of shellfish (men were in charge of house construction and community building). Present-day women - among Palauan men - are participants to wage labor. Although women now occupy jobs as physicians, lawyers and business managers. In relation to the history of national politics of Palau, Sandra Pierantozzi became the Vice President of Palau, and served as Palau's Minister of State.[1]

Traditionally, a Senior Palauan woman can become a part of the village council leadership, who has powers to select and remove male titleholders. They have decision-making authority in terms of matriline-controlled property and wealth (money are received by women on behalf of clans).[1]

Food production

Starch foods, known as ongraol are produced by women who work the taro swamps in the villages. Food beliefs include preparing special foods for pregnant and lactating Palauan women.[1]

Social stratification symbols

As a sign of personal achievement, women in Palau may wear necklaces that are made up of Palauan money pieces.[1]


The usual form of dance Palauan women perform include traditional dance that are "stately and performed by two lines of women".[1]

Notable women


  1. ^ a b c d e Nero, Karen L. "Palau". Retrieved 6 October 2013.

Media related to Women of Palau at Wikimedia Commons