Northwestern Events Calendar


Democratization and Gender Equality: Lessons from the Women's Movements in Thailand and Indonesia

When: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CT

Where: 1902 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Graduate Lecture Series

Sabina Puspita, Political Science

What explains the varying outcomes in movements’ capacity to influence policy change? Scholars of democratization and gender politics have theorized that democracy provides the best institutional remedies for narrowing gender-based inequalities. Recent events, including a landmark legislation for gender equality that was passed in Thailand and a similar legislation that reached a stalemate in Indonesia, however, contradict the theory. While the Women’s Movement in Thai Political Reform (WeMove) was able to achieve its intended outcome during a junta government, the Indonesian Network for Pro-Women National Legislation (JKP3) was not as successful under a democratic government. I propose a framework that focuses on two conditions: state repression in a movement’s relations with the state and the contemporary movement’s proximity to key policymaking authorities. Using this framework, I argue, enables us to examine closer the enduring consequences of state repression on two aspects. The first concerns a movement’s organizational development and the second concerns key policymaking authorities’ assessment of issues related to movements’ goals that affect legislative outcomes. Furthermore, this framework opens other relevant questions such as those pertaining to the Equal Rights Amendment impasse and related contemporary movements fighting for gender equality in the U.S. context. In essence, this ongoing study serves as a springboard to explain better the relationship between democratization and gender equality from a social movement perspective.

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