[TimorLesteStudies] Plans for edited book: Women's peace-building efforts through political engagement in Southeast Asia

Bu Wilson Bu.Wilson at anu.edu.au
Fri Nov 14 09:32:16 EST 2008


I was wondering if I might ask for your assistance in distributing the
following to those interested in Timor Leste.

I am working on the book project that Routledge publisher expressed interest
in pursuing further.
The edited volume prospectively is entitled as WE ARE NOT VICTIMS, WE ARE

The proposed book has several interrelated aims. It will highlight women's
political activities through civil society and the formal political arena in
conflict-torn regions in Southeast Asia. It will attempt to give voice to
women as political actors and agents of political change. Therefore, a
central goal is to shift the tone of discourse on women from victims of
socio-political systems to agents of change through the lens of political
To these ends, contributors to this edited volume address the unique ways in
which women are politically engaged and contribute to peace building and
human security issues in conflict regions of four countries in Southeast
Asia-East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Examining women's political activities in the context of peace building
effort is a lens through which this book will focus its discussion of
women's political engagement.  The book highlights women's agency in both
the formal and informal political arenas.
Much attention has been drawn to the violent conflicts in the Southeast Asia
region. The nature of these conflicts tends to be described as
nationalistic, ethnic, and religious conflicts; or a combination of these.
The plight of women in such conflict zones is often emphasized in the
literature ; with observations that this is the segment of the population
that suffers the most. Women have invariable been described as victims. 
Furthermore, the literature on women's political participation in Southeast
Asia tends to focus on the formal political arena of elected officials;
often highlighting the obstacles that women face when entering politics.
Even such obstacles have been discussed through the lenses of a discourse on
women as victims-victims  of patriarchy or of the 'old boys' network. This
discourse obscures women's agency.
Literature that addresses women's political engagement through civil society
is scarce for the Southeast Asia region, particularly in the sense of
highlighting the impact of women's actions on significant human security
issues. Yet women are politically engaged -whether through the formal
political arena as politicians or through civil society as leaders and
activists in social movements and NGOs. Women are agents of change and their
political engagement makes significant impact on various issues of human
security issues; including peace building efforts in various parts of
Southeast Asia.
The chapters of the book thus highlight three main interrelated concerns of
women's political engagement in the Southeast Asia region.
First, it examines women's engagement through the lenses of a discourse that
places women into the role of agent. Second, by focusing on women's agency
the book sheds light on the important contributions of women politicians to
peace building efforts in the conflict regions of Southeast Asia. Third,
this work shows that women are not only engaged politically as elected
officials but their engagement through civil society also have significant
political impact with a view to their contributions to human security and
peace building efforts.
If you are interested in contributing to the Timor Leste (East Timor)
section of the book, I would like to hear from you.
If you are not interested or do not have time to be a contributor, I would
be very grateful if you might suggest people to whom I might e-mail
solicitation for contribution. Contributions from academics, female
politicians, or female actors in NGOs or social movements in the Timor Leste
region would be welcome.

I thank you ahead of time for any assistance thAndrea K. Molnar (Ph.D.)
Associate Professor Department of Anthropology Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL. USA. 60115
Tel:(1) 815-753-8578
Fax: (1) 815-753-7027
e-mail: akmolnar at niu.edu

Andrea K. Molnar (PhD)
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL. USA. 60115
Tel:(1) 815-753-8578
Fax: (1) 815-753-7027
e-mail: akmolnar at niu.edu

Bu Wilson
Regulatory  Institutions Network (RegNet) Research School of Pacific and
Asian Studies
College of Asia and the Pacific,
Australian National University 
Canberra   ACT   0200 

T: 02 6125 3194
F: 02 6125 1507
M: 0407 087 086
E: Bu.Wilson at anu.edu.au


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