Women and the Politics of Gender in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste : Between Heaven and Earth book cover
1st Edition

Women and the Politics of Gender in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste
Between Heaven and Earth

Edited By

Sara Niner

ISBN 9780815357612
Published December 21, 2017 by Routledge
244 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents a wide-ranging overview of the position of women in Timor-Leste, 15 years after the country secured its independence. It considers the role of women in Timor-Leste’s history, explores their role in the present day economy and politics, and discusses their contribution to culture and society. The contested meaning of gender itself is investigated in the contemporary culture of this new society. It applies a wide range of different feminist theories and approaches, and concludes with a discussion of what new directions gender studies in Timor-Leste might take.

Table of Contents

1.Iha lalehan nia klaran no rai – Living between Heaven and Earth: Understanding jender in Timor-Leste. Sara Niner 2. The Lost Queens of Timor Hans Hagerdal & Douglas Kammen 3. Beyond the Timorese National Orthodoxy: The ‘Herstory’ of Bi-Murak Teresa Cunha 4. FOKUPERS – The East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum: the Development of Timor’s First Women’s NGO. Janet Hunt 5. The Problem of Gender Quotas: Women’s Representatives on Suku Councils Deb Cummins 6. Gendered Access to Customary Land in East Timor. Pyone Myat Thu, Steffanie Scott & Kimberly P. Van Niel 7. Budgetary Policy, Gender Equality and the Politics of Change in Timor-Leste Monica Costa & Rhonda Sharp 8. East Timorese Women Challenge Domestic Violence Nina Hall 9. Bikan ho Kanuru mak Tarutu – When Plates and Spoons Make Noise: Domestic Violence and Customary Law in Timor-Leste United Nations Development Program-Timor-Leste 10. A Gender perspective on the Catholic Church and Reproductive Health Rights in Timor-Leste Esther Richards 11. Negotiating Culture and Gender Expectations in Timor-Leste: Ambiguities in Post-Colonial Governance Strategies Kelly da Silva & Daniel Simião 12. Establishing a Research Agenda for Gender Studies in Timor Leste Sara Niner

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Sara Niner is a Lecturer and Researcher in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University, Australia


"This publication – one of the few completely dedicated to women’s rights in the country – is valuable because it goes beyond providing information on and interpretations of gender relations in what used to be referred to as the ‘world’s newest nation’, to reach conclusions applicable to most countries in transition. The positives of the existence of powerful queens in pre-colonial and colonial Timor, and the roles of women in the war for independence and the progress in their political representation, are counterbalanced by the persistence of gender-based violence/violence against women, and of deep gender inequalities in education, nutritional status, health, land ownership, and earnings."

Ines Smyth, Independent Consultant, UK, Gender & Development, Vol. 25, No. 1

"In one of the strongest chapters in the volume, Silva and Simião deconstruct some of the foundational concepts upon which discourses of gender are based. Their discussion of culture as a political and explanatory device, and its complex relationship with modernity, provides a critical layer to understandings of social action around the politics of gender. Niner’s concluding remarks take up these activist connotations, laying out a practical gender research agenda for Timor-Leste. In doing so, Niner articulates a diverse and broad-ranging platform that would be most provocative for researchers and practitioners engaged in gender-related research in Timor-Leste."

Hannah Loney, Australian Catholic University, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 20, No. 1