Several years ago a Papua New Guinean student asked me, ‘Why aren’t Papua New Guinean women writing?’ I replied that, like her, they were writing, but Papua New Guinea did not have many publishers to prepare materials, outlets to distribute them, and customers who could pay the current price of books and periodicals. It still does not; nor are there many foreign publishers that have the resources and interests to take on the market risks. To borrow from Grace Molisa (1992), often women have picked up the bag and carried it themselves. At the Pacific Science Inter-Congress in 1997, Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop asserted that rather than investing largely in one project as men tend to do, Pacific women sustain their livelihoods by putting their eggs in many baskets. The same holds for writing and publishing: women tend to write and publish in a variety of genres — from language to administration, from poetry to politics — across a mix of church, education, government, and business.
Crowl, Linda, Carrying the Bag: Women Writers and Publishers in the Pacific Islands, Kunapipi, 27(2), 2005.