Women’s Political Participation and Representation in Asia

Obstacles and Challenges

edited by Kazuki Iwanaga

  • Published:
  • Pages: 331 pp.
  • 45 figures & tables
  • Series number: 2
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

A timely and important study that is also coherent and accessible and brings together for the first time an array of prominent European and Asian academicians working in this field. The volume covers a wide range of topics, such as gender, political party systems, quota systems and political participation and representation at various levels and combines general approaches and statistical findings with in-depth empirical studies and causal explanations.

Prominence has often been given to the lives and activities of such top female leaders in Asia as Indira Gandhi and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Indeed, the ability of a small elite of highly educated, upper-class Asian women to obtain the highest political positions in their country is unmatched elsewhere in the world and deserves study. But, for those interested in a more detailed understanding of how women strive and sometimes succeed as political actors in Asia, there is a marked lack of relevant research as well as of comprehensive and user-friendly texts.

Aiming to fill the gap is this timely and important study of the various obstacles and opportunities for women’s political participation and representation in Asia. It is a singularly coherent, comprehensive and accessible volume, even though it brings together an array of prominent European and Asian academicians and researchers working in this field.

The book covers a wide range of Asian countries, offers original data from various perspectives and engages the latest research on women in politics in Asia. It also aims to put the Asian situation in a global context by making a comparison with the situation in Europe The volume will be invaluable in women’s studies internationally and especially in Asia.

by Sylvia Chant
From journal:
Asian Affairs, Nov 2010

"…combining solid up-to date specialist reviews with fresh thinking.

…merit  wide readership by faculty and students specialising in the area, as well as by professionals, policymakers, and practitioners."

"…combining solid up-to date specialist reviews with fresh thinking.

…merit  wide readership by faculty and students specialising in the area, as well as by professionals, policymakers, and practitioners."

by Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam, LMU München
From journal:
Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 1/2010

 What is astonishing about this wide-ranging volume on women’s political participation in Asia and the obstacles hindering it is not the variety of hurdles Asian women face, but their similarity.

 What is astonishing about this wide-ranging volume on women’s political participation in Asia and the obstacles hindering it is not the variety of hurdles Asian women face, but their similarity. Wherever women happen to live – in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka – the obstacles encountered by women who want to go into politics (in contrast to voting where percentages are always high) are not only formidable, but (sadly) predictable. … The volume is commendable not so much for its empirical findings, which are very useful in their own right, but for the questions and theoretical conundrums it throws up. It is a must for anybody who wants to know more about the situation of women in Asia.

by Robin M. Le Blanc, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, USA
From journal:
Pacific Affairs (Volume 82, No. 4), 2009

 In his introduction to this volume, editor and contributor Kazuki Iwanaga argues that “research [on women in politics] has been done almost exclusively in advanced industrial democracies with little, if any, attention paid to Asia.” This collection of articles is an attempt to remedy that deficit.

 In his introduction to this volume, editor and contributor Kazuki Iwanaga argues that “research [on women in politics] has been done almost exclusively in advanced industrial democracies with little, if any, attention paid to Asia.” This collection of articles is an attempt to remedy that deficit. The book is ambitious, and as is often the case with edited volumes, the work presented is uneven in quality. Nonetheless, in highlighting work done by a global team of researchers, many of them natives of the countries on which they report, and ranging from investigations of female chief executives in South Asian nations to women in Chinese village politics, these collected chapters make an important contribution to the study of women and politics outside of Western Europe and the United States.

by K. Staudty
From journal:
Choice – Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

“Highly recommended.”

“Highly recommended.”

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