Society and Identity
Since the adoption and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by the UN in 1981, women's issues became a major discourse both within and outside the state institutions. There was a concern that poverty and equity would not be resolved without integrating gender issues into policy making and government institutions. In the years that followed gender mainstreaming became a major approach and goal of feminist advocates and women's organizations resulting in the development of gender studies in the universities, gender-based organizations, global and national forums on gender issues, and the establishment of ministries of women affairs in state infrastructures.
At the same time these developments brought certain political dilemmas facing feminist advocates, as entering the mainstream entails also using the narrative of policy makers often to the detriment of the more critical approaches within the feminist stream. the differences in local dynamics and issues frequently brought forth the diverse aims of the feminist movement between universal values, national politics and local conditions, where also ethnicity, religion, class and race complicate the languages of advocacy. This panel aims to review critical trends and issues on gender and sexual diversity, human rights and governance in Southeast Asia at different analytical and political scales.
Key words: gender, women’s organizations and movements, development aid, political ecology, sexual moralities