Women’s political representation in Timor Leste

Sara Niner

Strong activism and leadership by women in Timor-Leste led to the introduction of electoral quotas. This was a great victory in the struggle for gender justice in the new nation but must be understood as a quantitative victory rather than qualitative or substantive participation by women in political institutions and processes. International experience has shown that quotas may have little impact on traditional inequitable gender regimes that exist within political parties, parliaments and wider society. This presentation will discuss the cultural, social and historical factors affecting women’s political representation in Timor-Leste including perceptions of women’s legitimacy to lead at both national and local council or suku level.

Biography: To come



The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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