[TimorLesteStudies] New article: The problem of gender quotas: women's representatives on Timor-Leste's suku councils

Deborah Cummins debcummins at gmail.com
Wed Feb 23 15:31:46 EST 2011

Cummins, Deborah (2011) The Problem of Gender Quotas: Women's
Representatives on Timor-Leste's* Suku* Councils; Development in Practice,
Volume 21:1, 85-95

*Abstract: *
This article examines the experiences of women occupying reserved seats on
the *suku* councils of Timor-Leste (each of which represents a number of
small villages). The limited political participation of these women is often
ascribed to patriarchal ideas within rural areas, and the need for capacity
development. This article argues, however, that there are further structural
issues at play, whereby the interaction between traditional and modern
governance makes it difficult for women occupying reserved seats to make
their mark. While gender quotas can be a useful tool to encourage women’s
political participation, these structural issues need to be recognised and
addressed in order to truly empower women.

Deborah Cummins, PhD, is researching issues of local governance,
democratisation and political participation in Timor-Leste and can be
contacted at debcummins at gmail.com.
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