Guide to Women in Leadership
Heads of State of the Republic of Palau/ Belu’u er’a Bealau Melikeok (Universal Suffrage 1947) 1782-1940 British Colony, 1940-45 Japanese occupation, 1945- Part of the US Administered United Nations Pacific States as a part of the Federated States of Micronesia, became an independent state in free association with USA on 1.10.94 The Country is a federation of 14 states with own legislatures and traditional Chief's Councils.
Also see Balau/Palau Ministers
In spite of the varied power of the traditional chiefs in Micronesia, almost all of them inherit their position through their mother. In Palau, the senior women in the chiefly clan select the paramount chief. Yap is the exception to this general rule. Both the age of the mother and her son were important determining factors for the leadership position in all Micronesian societies. Quite often a young man who had customary claim to a leadership position would be bypassed in favour of an older man. When this happened, usually the older man served in that pos tion until death, then the rightful holder of the title
could assert his right. The exercise of customary chiefly power was the domain of men. In a few cases, women would become chiefs, but the effective power would be exercised by men
1972-73 Acting Ibedul Gloria Gibbon Salii of Koror
She became acting Hugh Chief of the major Eoueldaob region of Koror after the death of her uncle, Ngorikal, and also representing her grandmother who was the Queen. In 1975 she became Bilung (The female equivalent to her title). She has been member of the parliament and is President of Palau’s women's union.
Before 1996- Ebilrekai Uma Basilius
Chiefess in the Babeldaob region of Palau – the male counterpart, the High Chief is the Reklai of Melekok.
Until 1999 Matriarch of the second ranking clan in Koror Lucy Orrukem
The country’s first female legislator, she lived (1906-99)
Last update 01.01.09