This book investigates the role of women and labour activism in Asia, demonstrating that women have been active in union and non union based campaigns throughout the region. Although focusing primarily on women, the contributions to this book address issues that affect all workers. Chapters on China, India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bangladesh examine the part that female labour activism has played inside, and outside, formal union movements. Whilst documenting the peculiar factors characterising individual national contexts, the book emphasises the similarities in women’s experiences of union and labour activism and the barriers women labour activists have faced. It considers the relationships between women union members and activists and male officials and union members, links with other social movements – particularly the broader women’s movement – and the details of specific labour campaigns and struggles. In doing so, it provides a full account of the role of women in union activism in Asia, covering all the major economies of the region, and successfully challenging the prevailing conception of Asian women workers as passive and uninterested in industrial issues.
1. Women and Labour Organizing in Asia: Diversity, Autonomy and Activism Kaye Broadbent and Michele Ford 2. Indonesia: Separate Organizing within Unions Michele Ford 3. China: Labour Organizations Representing Women Fang Lee Cooke 4. Malaysia: Women, Labour Activism and Unions Vicki Crinis 5. Sri Lanka: Contradictions for Women in Labour Organizing Janaka Biyanwila 6. Bangladesh: Women and Labour Activism Shahidur Rahman 7. Thailand: Women and Spaces for Labour Organizing Andrew Brown and Saowalak Chaytaweep 8. India: The Self-Employed Women’s Association and Autonomous Organizing Elizabeth Hill 9. Korea: Women, Labour Activism and Autonomous Organizing Kyoung-hee Moon and Kaye Broadbent 10. Japan: Women Workers and Autonomous Organizing Kaye Broadbent