[TimorLesteStudies] Latrobe Seminar: Politics of Gender in Timor-Leste: Sara Niner: Thurs 26th May 12:30pm

Sara Niner saraniner at gmail.com
Mon May 9 14:13:29 EST 2011

*The Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University *

Seminar Series presents

*Between Earth and Heaven: the Politics of Gender in Timor-Leste *

with Sara Niner

*Thursday 26th May 12:30 - 2:00pm *

*Centre for Dialogue Seminar Room 301 *

*Social** Sciences Building La Trobe University, Bundoora *

*Light lunch provided *

Gender inequality in post-conflict Timor-Leste (East Timor) is
well-documented and there is pressure for women to conform to ‘traditional’
cultural norms now the war is over, yet a strong women’s movement resists
this pressure. However, any rise in status for the majority of women must be
made through an engagement with indigenous or ‘traditional’ society as that
is culturally dominant in Timor. The impact of recent conflict and violence
has been profound for the new nation and its people, with public and private
or domestic violence still pervasive. The male political and military elite
dominant in Timor-Leste today is seen as largely responsible for outbreaks
of violence on a national scale (2004-8) and these contemporary events lead
us to define Timorese post-conflict society as militaristic in nature. A
strong culture of male political domination in Timor-Leste today holds back
the women’s movement, along with development, security and a more expansive
version of democracy. While ‘gender’ has featured heavily on the development
agenda of Timor- Leste over the last ten years little intellectual analysis
has been made of what these trends mean for development, security and
democracy there.

*Dr Sara Niner *is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Arts Faculty at Monash
University. She has recently completed a research program on gender
relations in the post-conflict period while on an Endeavour Fellowship in
partnership with the National Directorate of Culture in Timor-Leste. This
follows a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Monash researching women,
development and handcrafts in Timor-Leste. She is the editor of ‘*To Resist
is to Win: the Autobiography of Xanana Gusmão with selected letters and
speeches*’ (Aurora/ David Lovell Publishing 2000). Her new book ‘*XANANA:
Leader of the Struggle for Independent Timor-Leste*’ (2009) is published by
Australian Scholarly Publishing and is currently being translated into
Portuguese. This book was based on her PhD completed in the politics
department at La Trobe University in 2005. Please visit

RSVP: Christine Siokou 9479 1893 or c.siokou at latrobe.edu.au Enquiries: Dr
Sven Schottmann 9479 6621 or s.schottmann at latrobe.edu.au **
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