Special Seminar: Frontiers of Gender Studies in Asia

Date and time: 14:00-16:00, 14 November (Tue.) 2017
Venue: Room 213, the 2nd floor, Inamori Foundation Memorial Building, CSEAS, KyotoUniversity

Talk 1
Title: Research on Women’s Leadership in Indonesia: Women as the Source of Knowledge, New Narratives, and Existing Limitations (2005-2017)
Speaker: Dr. Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi (Senior Researcher, Research Center for Politics, Indonesian Institute of Sciences [LIPI], Indonesia)

Over the last twelve years (2005-2017) I have devoted my time, energy, and material to investigating women’s leadership, one of the strategic gender issues in Indonesia. Driven by curiosity to check the validity of the common understandings that believed Muslim countries usually discriminate women, I start to observe women’s leadership in Indonesian Islam. Beginning with the discourse and practice of women’s leadership in Muhammadiyah Islamic modernism movement, and later on Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic traditionalist movement, I have expanded my research to Muslim women political leaders as heads of local government from 2008 until now. Through years of research, their thoughts, experiences, and political story become genuine sources of knowledge that enable us to uncover the bigger picture of the correlation between Islam, gender, networks, piety, sexuality in public sphere as well as social class. They produce a new narrative of Muslim women’s roles in public sphere, as women who are able to take initiative and shape the growth of Indonesian democratization which had been previously dominated by men. They also raise new understandings of veiling that are different from the western feminists’ understanding. Nevertheless, there are cases of women leaders who end their term badly due to corruption cases. From the perspective of a female researcher committed to promoting gender and women’s studies, the fact weakens my efforts at promoting gender awareness. There is so much to do to shorten the gap between normative expectations and the practical situation of women’s leadership in Indonesia.

Talk 2
Title: Gender in Southeast Asia: Fluid, Contested and Negotiable
Speaker: Dr. Shanthi Thambiah (Associate Professor, Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Malaysia)

Yoko Hayami (Professor, CSEAS)
Emi Goto (Associate Professor, Network for Education and Research on Asia & Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo)

Caroline Hau (Professor, CSEAS)

**This seminar is organized by CSEAS Gender Equality Committee in collaboration with CSEAS/CIRAS joint usage/research project “Gender, Family and Modernity in Post-Socialist Islamic Space: Seeking for Links with Middle East Islamic Area Studies.”

About speakers
Kurniawati Hastuti Dewi is Senior Researcher in the Research Center for Politics, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, and is also a member of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies [AAWS]. She earned her Ph.D. in Area Studies from Kyoto University, and MA in Asian Studies from the Australian National University. Her research interests are in the areas of gender and politics, gender and decentralization, Islam and women leadership, representation of women and ethnic minorities, human rights of women and children. Her publications have appeared in leading academic journals.

***For these seminars, we will provide a nursing service in a room near the venue for free. If you are interested in using it, please contact us not later than November 5, 2017. (shitara[AT]

Contact: obiya[AT]

indonesiamalaysiacseas gepc