[TimorLesteStudies] Melbourne Seminar on Gender Inequalities and Health Policy in Timor-Leste by Clíonadh O'Keeffe

Michael Leach MLEACH at groupwise.swin.edu.au
Sun Aug 2 15:55:09 EST 2009

Gender Inequalities and Health Policy in Timor-Leste

Clíonadh O'Keeffe, PhD Candidate, Global Women's Studies, 
School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of
Galway, will present a seminar for the Victoria University East Timor 
Working Group and Timor-Leste Studies Association 
on Tuesday, 4th August 2009 4.30 pm
at Victoria University, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne 
(please see notice on the ground floor for the exact room) 
All welcome, particularly post-graduate students working on
Timor-Leste.   Please RSVP if you can to Helen Hill
Helen.hill at vu.edu.au

Progress in overcoming health inequalities experienced by women in 
post conflict Timor-Leste has been undermined by the failure of 
governance to attach sufficient weight to equality. 
To address this, the paper proposes the "Right to Health" framework 
which has marginalised groups, participation and accountability as its 
principal concerns and demands for structures and processes of 
accountability that are accessible, transparent, and that empower 
citizens to participate in planning, implementation and monitoring of 
their health care. The proposition is timely given the current context
governance reforms that 'will not only make service delivery more 
effective, but also increase participation of all people in government 
work' (Minister Leite 19/02/2009). 
However building meaningful participation of all actors is an 
enormously difficult process, particularly in post-conflict
environments. The paper teases out and highlights the potential of 
the framework for East Timorese women*s participation in local health 
governance specifically the proposed municipalities structures at
district level.

Clíonadh O' Keeffe was recently in Timor-Leste to attend both the 
TLSA Conference 'Understanding Timor-Leste' and the Victoria 
University - National University of Timor-Loro Sa'e conference 
'Transforming Timor-Leste'
She is a first year doctoral candidate in the School of Political
and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway. The title of her 
research project is "Women's Health, Multilevel Governance and
Human Rights in Post Conflict Timor Leste: A Case Study in 
Engendering Transition'. She is particularly interested in the impacts
of governance
reform on East Timorese women's sexual and reproductive health 
rights (SRHR) and the extent to which the current processes of 
decentralization taking place in Timor Leste help or hinder the 
realization of those rights. She holds a Masters degree in Gender and
Development from the 
Institute of Development Studies (IDS) University of Sussex, UK. 
Clíonadh worked in Timor-Leste in 2000-2002 and 2007 as a 
United Nations Volunteer with UNTAET, UNMIT and with Irish Aid.

She currently works as the coordinator of DERN, an Irish Aid funded
Development Education and Research Network in the School of 
Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Prior to joining NUIG she worked as a community development worker 
in the west of Ireland for almost ten years. The main focus of her work 
has been to support the realization of marginalized Traveller women*s 
right to health where she coordinated a rural health project and later a

primary health care project within in a rights based non-governmental 
community organization.

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