Bih-er, Chou, Cal Clark, and Janet Clark
1990. Women in Taiwan Politics: Overcoming Barriers to Women's Participation in a Modernizing Society.
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
This is a joint study between researchers at Academia Sinica in Taiwan and the University of Wyoming in the U.S. It discusses women in political participation in developed and developing countries, the social and economic development of Taiwan, and the status of women in the country. The actual research instrument is a biographical questionnaire focused on women who are elected and currently serving, formerly elected, and defeated for seats in the National Assembly, the Legislative Yuan, the Provincial Assembly, or the Taipei and Kaohsiung City Councils. Though the results of the study showed that most women in the ruling party are part of or associated with the established Taiwanese elite, this proves that there is at least some form of "countersocialization" to overcome roadblocks to women's political participation. The authors conclude that Taiwan is on a progressive path in terms of gender equity, and the need for things like the legislative quota system and a separate feminist movement should be re-examined.
1995. A Rising Public Voice: Women in Politics Worldwide.
New York: The Feminist Press.
This is a pioneer book that takes an in-depth look at women's evolution in political life, in countries around the world. Through essays, profiles, and interviews, activists and women in high-level government positions describe many aspects of political life from elections to party politics. How and whether women's political agendas and lifestyles differ from their male counterparts are also discussed, along with the unique responsibilities of women to manage the family and household while accepting strict public scrutiny of their personal lives.
Clark, Cal and Rose J. Lee (eds.)
2000. Democracy and the Status of Women in East Asia.
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
The main question examined in this book is whether democratization empowers women and promotes women's rights. Particularly, it is concerned with whether the recent move toward democratization in East Asia will positively influence the status of women in the region. In an era when the promise of modernization to significantly improve the lives of women and dismantle patriarchal culture has fallen through, democratization is seen as another avenue by which women can make positive social change. While East Asian cultures - at least stereotypically - have been notorious for their patriarchal practices, the countries of this region remain strong candidates for change in gender relations.
El Saadawi, Nawal
1997. The Nawal El Saadawi Reader: A Selection of the Works of Nawal El Saadawi.
London and New York: Zed Books.
Nawal El Saadawi is the author of the acclaimed work on Arab women, "The Hidden Face of Eve." This collection of non-fiction essays highlights the full range of her incredible work on a multitude of topics relating to women in the developing world. The works include 23 essays under 6 headings: "Gendering North-South Politics," "Women's Health," "Women/Islam/Fundamentalism," "Orientalizing Women," "Decolonizing the Imagination," and "Women Organizing for Change." Her writings demonstrate the power of women in resistance to many different inequalities.
Hourn, Kao Kim and Norbert van Hofman (eds.)
1999. Women's Political Voice in ASEAN: Sharing a Common Vision.
London: ASEAN Academic Publishers.
Women in Southeast Asia play an instrumental role in the various aspects of both political and non-political life. As the region moves closer to full integration, there is a need to pay closer attention to the role and voice of women at various decision-making levels in the region.
1986. Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World.
London: Zed Books. India: Kali for Women.
This book is a reconstruction of the history of women's rights movements throughout Asia and the Middle East from the 19th century to the 1980s. It focuses on Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. This research shows that feminism was not simply a foreign ideology imposed on Third World countries. Instead, it developed on its own in these countries as women struggled for equal rights and against the subordination of women at home and in society generally.
Jeffery, Patricia and Amrita Basu (eds.)
1998. Appropriating Gender: Women's Activism and Politicized Religion in South Asia.
New York: Routledge.
This is a complex edited collection that examines the intricate intersections of gendered ideologies, class structures, the state, and religious and ethnic politics in the social construction of gender identity in South Asian societies. While a very eclectic volume, a certain unity is maintained throughout the book. In all of the writings, women are characterized as agents instead of victims. There is also much diversity in the case studies; the editors successfully incorporate detailed case studies from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The book is divided into three sections: "Gender, Nation, and State," "The Local and the Everyday," and "Agency and Activism." In these sections, the intersection of gender with class, ethnicity, and religion is explored, as are constructed gender identities. The book ends with a pragmatic approach for feminist activists, and is sensitive to the particular cultural context of South Asia.
Kelly, Rita Mae
2001. Gender, Globalization, and Democratization.
Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
Using the contributions of thirteen prominent researchers from a number of different disciplines, gender analyses are used to create a critical study of both globalization and democratization. It represents a broad geographical dimension of the existing gender regime with its variations and uniformity around the world. The main argument is that in order to establish a "full democracy," women must be recognized equally as citizens, and institutionalized gender relationships and regimes must be egalitarian.
Kiribamune, Sirima (ed.)
1999. Women and Politics in Sri Lanka: A Comparative Perspective.
Sri Lanka: International Center for Ethnic Studies.
This book is a collection of different essays relating to the situation of women in South Asian politics, particularly in Sri Lanka. There are both South Asian and global perspectives in this analysis, which attempts to outline the history, challenges, opportunities, and roles of women in electoral politics and women's organizations in Sri Lanka. Also, the results of a national field survey on the topic are analyzed and made into a chapter of the book.
Kumari, Abhilasha and Kabina Kidwai
1998. Crossing the Sacred Line: Women's Search for Political Power.
New Delhi: Orient Longman Publishing.
This book serves as an overview to women's barriers in the Indian political arena. It attempts to explore social and historical reasons for the limited participation of women in politics by using "free-flowing interviews" of women in various political parties, ranging from the dominant BJP to the Communist Party of India. The interviews reveal that a majority of women who have political power come from the elite strata of Indian society. Also discussed are the controversial 33% reservation bill, gang rape as a political tactic to intimidate women politicians, and women's activism in non-political spheres.
LeBlanc, Robin M.
1999. Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
LeBlanc utilizes the metaphor of bicycle-riding citizens (shufu, or Japanese housewives) and taxi-riding citizens (high-powered male politicians) to guide her analysis. The former group is one rooted in the community and its values and minute details, while the latter is concerned with a fast-paced life, money, and the advancement of one's career. The author lived with and observed groups of Japanese shufu for more than two years, and her ethnographic study seeks to describe the relation of Japanese housewives to politics. She concludes that these women are actively boycotting politics as a protest against the corrupt and hypocritical system. These women have created a distinctly non-political space through community and local non-governmental organizations to further their goals. The book has been called the first truly "serious account of the role of women in Japanese politics" for more than a decade.
Mishra, Anil Dutta (ed.)
1999. Gender Perspective: Participation, Empowerment, and Development.
New Delhi: Radha Publications.
This volume contains a series of essays by well-known social scientists from various disciplines. Many perspectives are given on the roles of Indian women in the post-independence era of globalization, economic liberalization, and democratization. It touches on issues of women's empowerment at the grassroots level, at the local government (Panchayati Raj) level, and in the context of economic development and land reform. The essays offer well-developed "blueprints" that outline how to empower and improve the status of women in India.
1996. Equality Postponed: Gender, Rights, and Development.
Oxford and London: Worldview Publications and One World Action Publishers.
This book uses case studies from Bangladesh, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe to demonstrate that international economic policies often perpetuate and exacerbate gender inequalities. These policies rely on the current unequal division of rights and responsibilities between the sexes. This is a good introductory volume to the topic. It illustrates how development policy and practice can clash with democracy and governance, to the detriment of the poorest women, men, and children.
One World Action
1999. "Influence and Access: Local Democracy and Basic Service Provision." May, Report of One World Action Seminar. Available through: www.oneworldaction.org/reports.htm.
The One World Action Seminar brought together UK and EU development cooperation officials with representatives from NGOs, research institutions, local authorities, and public sector trade unions from all over the world. They set out to answer questions such as "How can the poorest women and men have a greater say in local level decision-making?" and "How can the poorest communities gain access to good quality and gender-sensitive services?" The report highlights the exchange of experience and strategies used to answer these questions. It includes case studies from around the world and also an overview of current EU and UK policy thinking.
One World Action
1999. "Women and Democracy." June, Report of seminar. Available through www.oneworldaction.org/reports.htm.
Gender, democracy, and political representation of women are discussed. Strategies for promoting women's gender interests and strengthening the presence of women in political spheres are illustrated as well. The report outlines specific recommendations for action by bilateral and multilateral donors, women's organizations, and others.
Saxena, K.S. (ed.)
1999. Women's Political Participation in India.
Jaipur: Sublime Publishing.
This volume contains the works of many authors, all of whom address the issue of women's political participation in India. The roles women have played in both the anti-colonial independence movement and current parliamentary politics are examined. Prospects for women in the political decision-making process in India are discussed.
Sinha, Niroj (ed.)
2000. Women in Indian Politics: Empowerment of Women through Political Participation.
New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House.
This book is a collection of essays by several Indian women who analyze both the historical and current situations of women in the Indian political sphere. Politics are discussed in the context of patriarchal culture, the female participants in the independence struggle, elections, political parties, local government, and the proposed reservation bill. Case studies from Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, and other areas are examined.
1996. Gender in Third World Politics.
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
This volume serves as an overview of the subject of gender in Third World politics. It is very introductory, and is intended for an audience of non-feminist political scholars. The goal is to infuse a gendered perspective into mainstream politics. The author explores phenomenon such as the rigid separation between "grassroots politics" and "power politics," and other such patterns that have relegated women historically. Waylen presents a challenge to the status quo approach to the study of comparative politics, and attempts to create a new set of guidelines to follow. Her expertise is in Latin America, and much of her focus is there.
Acosta-Belen, Edna and Christine E. Bose
1990. "From Structural Subordination to Empowerment: Women and Development in Third World Contexts." Gender and Society, Vol. 4, No. 3, Special Issue: Women and Development in the Third World (September), pp. 299-320.
This article argues that the condition of women in Third World societies cannot be separated from the colonial experience since the power relationships that were established during the colonial era between Europe and its territories, and between women and men, have not varied significantly and are still recreated through contemporary mechanisms. For example, development projects promoted by Western countries to modernize the Third World have, in the long run, better served their own interests than those of their intended beneficiaries. As a result and contrary to expectations, growth and prosperity still elude the Third World. We also show that during the current international economic crisis, women's unpaid or underpaid labor has become the basis of new development programs and policies and is crucial to the recent phase of capitalist development. We discuss how the structural position and status of women and colonies closely resemble each other and have served as the foundations of the capital accumulation process and the development of industrial nations. The concept of women as a last colony thus becomes a compelling metaphor of liberation and leads us to stress the need for a worldwide process of gender decolonization, entailing the reformulation of power relations between women and men.
1996. "The Feminization of Violence in Bombay: Women in the Politics of the Shiv Sena."
Asian Survey, Vol. 36, No. 12 (December), pp. 1213-1225.
During the early 90s, a shockwave of political violence swept through the Indian subcontinent. The violence was largely a reaction to the destruction of a Muslim religious structure in Ayodhya by militant Hindu nationalists. Riots spread throughout the country, and some of the most brutal fighting occurred in the city of Mumbhai (Bombay) in Maharashtra. An extraordinarily large number of Hindu women participated in these violent riots, an uncommon occurrence in Indian culture. Banerjee attempts to uncover the reasons for this "feminization of violence" in the Mumbhai riots, and more broadly, the reasons for increased female involvement in militant Hindu nationalist groups such as the Shiv Sena. The effective strategies that the Shiv Sena has employed to mobilize women are discussed, as well as the reaction of feminist groups to this phenomenon. She raises the issue of whether or not participation in a structurally and ideologically patriarchal organization such as the Shiv Sena can bring about "true" empowerment, but avoids making a judgment about it.
Blumberg, Rae Lesser
1984. "A General Theory of Gender Stratification."
Sociological Theory, Vol. 2, pp. 23-101.
This chapter sets forth a general theory of gender stratification. While both biological and ideological variables are taken into account, the emphasis is structural. It is proposed that the major independent variable affecting sexual inequality is each sex's economic power, understood as relative control over the means of production and allocation of surplus. For women, relative economic power is seen as varying - and not always in the same direction - at a variety of micro- and macro- levels, ranging from the household to the state. A series of propositions links the antecedents of women's relative economic power, the interrelationship between economic and other forms of power, and the forms of privilege and opportunity into which each gender can translate its relative power.
Croll, Elisabeth J.
1991. "Imaging Heaven: Collective and Gendered Dreams in China."
Anthropology Today, Vol. 7, No. 4 (August), pp. 7-12.
The Revolution in China employed powerful psychological tools to sustain a vision of collectivism and unity. This article focuses specifically on the concept of a collective striving toward a "heaven on earth," and the "near monopoly of the language of collective celebration which disguised the relevance of the language of individual experience." This government-driven monopoly of rhetoric and thought had a profound impact on women. Along with the rupture of China's Cultural Revolution and the downfall of Mao Zedong's successors in 1976 came the collapse of idealistic visions of gender equality and empowerment. This revealed a stark contrast between the rhetoric and actual practice of gender equality in the country. Croll argues that this was most clear in the "One Child" policy, a government-mandated limitation on fertility that allowed the infanticide of millions of infant girls. In this post-Revolution China, people's perceptions of "heaven" and "the present" have changed dramatically from a more certain (and monolithic) past.
Korson, J. Henry and Michelle Maskiell
1985. "Islamization and Social Policy in Pakistan: The Constitutional Crisis and the Status of Women."
Asian Survey, Vol. 25, No. 6 (June), pp. 589-612.
This article, though somewhat dated, describes the leadership of Pakistan's President Zia-al-Haq, and his pursuit of an "Islamic Democracy" in the country. After his ascent to power following a military coup in 1977, Zia implemented a host of controversial policies. His administration dissolved the elected legislature, appointed a new one, suspended the Constitution, banned political parties, and significantly increased the power of the President. These policies, according to Zia, were part of a broader goal of "Islamization" in Pakistan. This is a goal that has had profound impacts on women in the country. Although the government has established internal offices to deal exclusively with women's issues, their scope and power have been limited at best. The policy of "Islamization" has served in many cases to institutionalize and reinforce the rigid gender roles of the culture. In some arenas, such as employment and civil law, the status of women has either remained static, or declined. The implications of Zia's administration for the future of women in Pakistan remain to be seen, but it does not look bright.
Margolis, Diane Rothbard
1993. "Women's Movements around the World: Cross-Cultural Comparisons."
Gender and Society, Vol. 7, No. 3 (September), pp. 379-399.
This article develops a framework for cross-national comparisons of contemporary women's movements. The article focuses on the international context and cross-national influences, the nature of the state, the absence or presence of other movements, the effects of conservative or liberal political environments, the effects of centralization or dispersion within the movement itself and on feminist involvement in political parties and elections. Because each of these factors shapes a particular movement, the article concludes that there cannot be one correct feminism.
Palley, Marian Lief
1990. "Women's Status in South Korea: Tradition and Change."
Asian Survey, Vol. 30, No. 12 (December), pp. 1136-1153.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) has experienced very rapid industrial growth and economic modernization since the end of the Korean War. Although the society's material change has been substantial, behavioral adjustments to the economic developments have occurred slowly and have sometimes been justified by tradition. Thus, inequities in women's opportunities are maintained through an elaborate system of role relationships that are rooted in and rationalized by Confucian customs; they are socially mandated and often legally condoned. However, despite the cultural limits on behavioral change, a women's rights movement has developed in the ROK over the past several years, and it is addressing issues of equity and worker exploitation - two universal concerns of modernized societies. The interaction of tradition with the calls for change issued by this women's rights movement is the focus of this study.
Richter, Linda K.
Winter, 1990-1991. "Exploring Theories of Female Leadership in South and Southeast Asia." Pacific Affairs, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 524-540.
Asia, with its reputation for holding women in low regard, has nonetheless had numerous female leaders over the last thirty years. Why this should be so and what effect that has is examined in this research. This study (1) explores several key variables in the political prominence of Asian women, (2) assesses what if any advantages or disadvantages women have in leadership roles in south or southeast Asia, (3) attempts to determine what if any impact women have as women in the politics of these regions, and (4) predicts rather gloomy prospects for female leadership in these regions.
Rogers, Marvin L.
1986. "Changing Patterns of Political Involvement among Malay Village Women."
Asian Survey, Vol. 26, No. 3. (March), pp. 322-344.
From the introduction of the article:
"This article is an analysis of the changing pattern of political involvement among Malay women in the village of Sungai Raya in northwestern Johore. It examines continuity and change in the women's political awareness, concern, and participation, and argues that, although marginal involvement has increased during the past two decades, most women remain politically uninformed and unconcerned. The study contends that the village Wanita UMNO organization is very weak and politically insignificant. It predicts that marginal involvement will grow, but that few women will become actively involved in politics."
1995. "Women and Political Participation in China."
Pacific Affairs, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Autumn), pp. 315-341.
This paper examines the role of women in post-1949 Chinese politics, and considers the effect of various forces - government policy, modernization, foreign influence and culture - on women's political participation over time. It provides statistical data on women in leadership positions in the party and state bureaucracies, and contrasts the Cultural Revolution's overtly "political" strategy of mandated official quotas for leadership roles with the reform period's strategy, which emphasizes the development of a long-term legal framework for the protection of women's rights, and which stresses the importance of competitive elections for holding public office. The changing role of the Women's Federation is also addressed. Beginning in 1990, when China first bid to host the 1995 UN Women's Conference - which has as its main slogan the equal 50 percent representation of men and women in power structures - there has been an attempt to reverse the numerical decline of women in political roles by reinstituting a quota system, albeit a more modest one than its predecessor.
Verba, Sidney, Nancy Burns, and Kay Lehman Schlozman
1997. "Knowing and Caring about Politics: Gender and Political Engagement."
The Journal of Politics, Vol. 59, No. 4 (November), pp. 1051-1072.
This paper demonstrates that women are less politically interested, informed, and efficacious than men and that this gender gap in political engagement has consequences for political participation. Only when gender differences in political interest, information, and efficacy are considered along with gender differences in resources can we explain the relatively small disparity between the sexes with respect to political activity. When we searched for the origins of the gender gap in political engagement, we found that it can be explained only partially by gender differences in factors such as education that are associated with political engagement. Furthermore, these gender differences in political orientation seem to be specific to politics rather than the manifestation of general personal attributes. Investigation of the extent to which the cues received by males and females that politics is a man's world are responsible for the gender gap in political engagement yielded results that were suggestive, but mixed.
1994. "Women and Democratization: Conceptualizing Gender Relations in Transition Politics."
World Politics, Vol. 46, No. 3 (April), pp. 327-354.
This article examines the impact of gender relations on democratization. It considers a number of key questions: what role women's movements play in the transition to democratic rule and what impact a return to competitive electoral politics has on women and women's movements. The starting point is a critique of the existing literature on democratization. That literature cannot provide a satisfactory analysis of the role of women in transition politics because of the narrow definitions of democracy used and the top-down focus of much of it. The article then develops a gendered analysis through a comparison of the different processes of transition in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. It highlights the significance of the relationship between civil society and the state and the existence of "political space."
Weiss, Anita M.
1990. "Benazir Bhutto and the Future of Women in Pakistan."
Asian Survey, Vol. 30, No. 5 (May), pp. 433-445.
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto rose to power in 1988 under the political flag of the PPP (Pakistan People's Party). Throughout her campaign and in her inaugural speech, she pledged to fight for the cause of women's rights in Pakistan. This article examines how the Bhutto administration's policies might affect women, the poor, and other disadvantaged social groups. It is asked whether Bhutto will commit herself to bettering the status of these groups, or instead cave to the internal political pressures of a skeptical parliament. If her administration does not exercise its influence to improve the lives of women and others, the consequences could be worsened poverty, further social and political disenfranchisement, and a host of other problems.
Weiss, Anita M.
1985. "Women's Position in Pakistan: Sociocultural Effects of Islamization."
Asian Survey, Vol. 25, No. 8 (August), pp. 863-880.
From the opening paragraph of the article:
"During the past six years, the government of Pakistan has been pursuing an Islamization program unparalleled in the modern history of Islam in South Asia. The government proposals, if all are enacted, would systematically reduce women's power and participation through established social institutions (e.g., legal, educational, political). This article addresses the many implications of the new Islamic laws (both decreed and proposed) for women in Pakistan, discusses the variety of responses to these actions, and analyzes the effects of these laws on the social environment they are attempting to shape, focusing on the conflicting social forces at play."