[TimorLesteStudies] Two papers on gender in Timor-Leste

Ann Wigglesworth annww at ozemail.com.au
Fri Nov 8 11:35:32 EST 2013

Dear TLSA,
I have two papers published this year, one on women in governance in
Timor-Leste and the other on young women in Timor-Leste. These are:

1) 'Community Leadership and Gender Equality: Experiences of Representation
in Local Governance in Timor-Leste' in Asian Politics and Policy Vol 5 Issue
4 p567-584 October 2013.

In Timor-Leste, women lack a voice in customary governance processes. Since
independence in 2002, the Timor-Leste government has adopted policies that
provide equal rights for men and women and promote the inclusion of women in
decision-making structures at national and local levels. Women's
participation in democratic governance has been supported by international
development agencies. This article draws on field research in Timor-Leste in
2011 to investigate the experiences of women leaders in national and local
governance structures. It analyzes the strategies to promote a national
women's agenda in national politics as well as the challenges for women
representatives on community governance councils. A case study on domestic
violence provides analysis of the inconsistencies between customary
leadership and the constitutional right to equality. The article argues that
greater integration of the customary and national governance systems would
better support the human rights principles to which Timor-Leste is

2) 'Dreaming of a Different life: Steps Towards Democracy and Equality in
Timor-Leste' in Ellipsis, Journal of American Portuguese Studies
Association, Vol 10 2012 (special issue on Timor-Leste).

Abstract: Customary gender roles in Timor-Leste have a profound effect on
the respective life 
opportunities of young Timorese women and men, but since independence, there
have been 
challenges to traditional gender roles. This article investigates how young
Timorese women, 
due to their gender and age, face significant limits to their social and
political participation 
and how young women in rural areas continue to be amongst the least heard
members of the 
community. Drawing on interviews with Timorese women and youth, the article
the opportunities and limitations for young women to further their education
and engage 
constructively in the development of their communities.


Dr Ann Wigglesworth
Monash Asia Institute

More information about the Easttimorstudies mailing list