Women's Movements in Asia
Feminisms and Transnational Activism
Edited by Mina Roces, Louise Edwards
Routledge – 2010 – 288 pages
Women's Movements in Asia is a comprehensive study of women’s activism across Asia. With chapters written by leading international experts, it provides a full overview of the history of feminism, as well as the current context of the women’s movement in 12 countries: the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Japan, Burma, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Korea, India and Pakistan.
For each of these countries the manner in which feminism changes according to cultural, political, economic and religious factors is explored. The contributors investigate how national feminisms are influenced by transnational factors, such as the women’s movements in other countries, colonialism and international agencies. Each chapter also considers what Asian feminists have contributed to global theoretical debates on the woman question, the key successes and failures of the movements and what needs to be addressed in the future.
This breadth of coverage, together with suggestions for further reading and watching, and an integrated cross-national timeline makes Women's Movements in Asia ideal for use on courses looking at women and feminism in Asia. It will appeal both to students and specialists in the fields of gender, women’s and Asian studies.
"Experts in analysing gender issues offer this unique comparative analysis of the evolution of ‘national essence feminism’ in the context of global feminism. To find out how the women’s movement in twelve Asian nations have fought for bodily autonomy, participation in politics and religion, new definitions of womanhood, changed family relations and much more – this book is the best (indeed the only) one to read."
—Chilla Bulbeck Professor emerita and visiting research fellow, The University of Adelaide, Australia
"These excellent essays on women's movements in 12 Asian countries are written by carefully selected authors who represent a variety of disciplines, including interdisciplinary women's and gender studies, and locations in Europe, Asia, the US, and Australia. The individual essays are very well conceived, and it is interesting to note issues of commonality (importance of culture, history of gender relations, uncertain politics) as well as those of difference (power of elite women, involvement of NGOs such as the YWCA), and agendas that range from health care for sex workers to participation in Buddhist hierarchy, and legal- and rights-based philosophies under more or less friendly regimes."
—P. LeClerc, St. Lawrence University
"The strength of this edited volume is the breadth and diversity of women's issues raised in each national context. The reader has the opportunity to learn about the rise of Islamic feminism in Indonesia and Pakistan and, at the same time, the struggles of Chinese feminists trying to put their agenda outside of the PRC Communist framework…In sum, this volume is a significant contribution to many fields including women's studies, and Asian history and civil society. It is a thoroughly researched, well written, and highly readable piece of feminist scholarship."
—Jennifer Chan, Pacific Affairs: Volume 84, No. 2 - June 2011
1. Introduction: Women’s Movements from the Asian Perspective Mina Roces 2. Feminism and the Women’s Movement in the World’s Largest Islamic Nation Sue Blackburn 3. Rethinking ‘the Filipino Woman’: A Century of Women’s Activism in the Philippines Mina Roces 4. Chinese Feminism in a Transnational Frame: Between Internationalism and Xenophobia Louise Edwards 5. Transnational Networks and Localized Campaigns: The Women’s Movement in Singapore Lenore Lyons 6. Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Feminisms in Twentieth Century Japan Barbara Molony 7. Feminism, Buddhism and Transnational Women’s Movements in Thailand Monica Lindberg Falk 8. Following the Trail of the Fairy-Bird: The Search for a Uniquely Vietnamese Women’s Movement Alessandra Chiricosta 9. The Hong Kong Women’s Movement: Towards a Politics of Difference and Diversity Adelyn Lim 10. Military Rule, Religious Fundamentalism, Women Empowerment and Feminism in Pakistan Andrea Fleschenberg 11. Mapping a Hundred Years of Activism: Women’s Movements in Korea Seung-kyung Kim and Kyounghee Kim 12. ‘Riding a Buffalo Across a Muddy Field’: Heuristic Approaches to Feminism in Cambodia Trudy Jacobsen 13. Rights Talk and the Feminist Movement in India Sumi Madhok
Louise Edwards is Professor of Modern China Studies at the University of Hong Kong.
Mina Roces is an Associate Professor in the School of History and Philosophy, The University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.