Gender Politics in Asia

Women Manoeuvring with Dominant Gender Orders

edited by Wil Burghoorn, Kazuki Iwanaga, Cecilia Milwertz & Qi Wang

  • Published:
  • Pages: 235 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series number: 3
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

This comprehensive volume of gender politics in China, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia examines multiple aspects of gender politics in Asia (dress, healing, religious ordination, NGO activism, etc.), bringing to bear interdisciplinary approaches of inquiry based on in-depth empirical data.

This book demonstrates the great diversity in gender politics and women’s strategies to negotiate and change gender relations individually or collectively. It examines cultural complexities of gender by focusing on gender politics in Asia, with case studis from China, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. It examines multiple aspects of gender politics (dress, healing, religious ordination, NGO activism, etc.), bringing to bear interdisciplinary approaches of inquiry based on in-depth empirical data.

author image not supplied

Wil Burghoorn is a social anthropologist, lecturer and researcher at the School of Global Studies at Göteborg University.

Wil Burghoorn is a social anthropologist, lecturer and researcher at the School of Global Studies at Göteborg University.

She has done research on gender and development related issues, forms of relatedness and expressions of belonging, in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh. She has coordinated several interdisciplinary research projects, involving institutes in Sweden, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Currently she is co-coordinating a research project on Rural Families in Transitional Vietnam.

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by Dr Anindita Datta, University of Delhi
From journal:
personal communication

 The book has been of immense relevance to me in my teaching and research. Gender politics in Asia has gone beyond the question of women’s participation in politics to probe deeply the manner in which Asian women subtly and yet quite effectively manoeuvre their way in male dominated societies.

 The book has been of immense relevance to me in my teaching and research. Gender politics in Asia has gone beyond the question of women’s participation in politics to probe deeply the manner in which Asian women subtly and yet quite effectively manoeuvre their way in male dominated societies. What is interesting and of significance is the way the essays bring out the use of traditional gender roles to grant agency in the political sphere. This is a theme I have been pursuing in my ongoing research too and find my points vindicated by the essays in the book. What was immediately appealing to me is the way the essays in the book foreground the diverse cultural contexts within which women negotiate. The editors resist the temptation to find and highlight Asian patterns choosing wisely instead to present the great variety of contexts within which women have been able to effectively strategise and influence power.

A recently added post graduate course that I have introduced in my department touches upon the question of indigenous feminisms, while another M.Phil course on Gender and Development I introduced about five years ago, includes the question of women’s participation in politics. I find the book especially relevant to these sections of the courses and also in my overall project of visibilising Asian feminisms. I heartily recommend the book to everybody researching gender questions in Asia and complement the editors for their insightful handling of the theme.

by Reiko Yamagishi, Dept. of Sociology, National University of Singapore
From journal:
The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, 27 (2), 2009

Though the majority of essays examine the women’s movement under a microscope in relation to a specific historical and social context, the authors bring such micro, or often very personal movents, up to much larger frameworks, to local, national, transnational and historical levels, thereby making theiry arguments richer and more interesting.  This is one book that will hold readers’ inter

Though the majority of essays examine the women’s movement under a microscope in relation to a specific historical and social context, the authors bring such micro, or often very personal movents, up to much larger frameworks, to local, national, transnational and historical levels, thereby making theiry arguments richer and more interesting.  This is one book that will hold readers’ interest because of the wide range of interesting research topics and approaches.

by Colette Balmain
From journal:
ASEASUK News 46, 2009

… an excellent introduction to the subject written in a lively and interesting manner, accessible to a general as well as an academic readership. I would strongly recommend Gender politics in Asia as a key text for anyone interested in and/or studying gender roles in Asia.

… an excellent introduction to the subject written in a lively and interesting manner, accessible to a general as well as an academic readership. I would strongly recommend Gender politics in Asia as a key text for anyone interested in and/or studying gender roles in Asia.

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