Volunteer Pauline: What it is like to be a woman living in the village of Tikalod

8th March 2018

In recognition of International Women’s Day, volunteer Pauline gives an insight into the lives of the women living in the community of Kampung Tikalod.

We had a talk with Narmi (13) and Auntie, Narmi’s grandmother. Narmi lives with her older sister (16) and brother (18) but she spends a lot of time at Auntie’s house. Auntie is one of the older women in the village and takes care of the younger children and the household with the other women, including Narmi.

Auntie is also in charge of the solar panels in the village. A previous Raleigh Borneo project developed the solar panel infrastructure in the village, enabling the community to have access to electricity. As part of the project, in partnership with Sabah Women Entrepreneur and Professionals Association (SWEPA), grandmothers in the village were trained to become solar panel engineers. Find out more about this project here.

It feels good to say that in Kampung Tikalod men and women are very equal. They do not however have strictly designated tasks. Generally, the women in the village say they prefer to stay close to the homes to take care of their children, do the laundry and do the cooking. The men tend to go hunting, look for firewood and clear land for farming.

Farming itself is something that both men and women do. When we asked other women in the village about their tasks and if they want them to change they all said they are ok with them. The women said they would rather stay close to their homes.

When it comes to decision making about things that affect the whole village, everyone comes together to discuss the topics. There is not really one person who is in charge. Everyone has a say in everything. The village do have a person who takes care of the community development and security but they start projects only with the permission of all the villagers.


Find out more about Kampung Tikalod here.

Contact any of our volunteers by completing the linked contact form. We will pass your messages and words of encouragement on to the volunteers during our project loops.

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Words by Volunteer Pauline.

Photography by Daniel Buttifant.


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