UNSW Sydney will host the 2019 Women in Asia Conference in June in partnership with the Women’s Forum of the Asian Studies Association of Australia and the UNSW Institute for Global Development.
The event, titled ‘Women in an Era of Anti-Elitism’ will bring together scholars, students and policy-makers to explore the challenge of rising populism in the region and its threat to gender inclusivity.
Associate Professor Tarini Bedi, from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will deliver the keynote address.
Professor Bedi is an urban and political anthropologist, who grew up in India, and conducts research in South and Southeast Asia. She is set to discuss body politics, political militancy and agency with a focus on Shiv Sena women in Western India. She is the author of the book The Dashing Ladies of Shiv Sena: Political Matronage in Urbanizing India.
Dr Melissa Crouch, Associate Professor at UNSW Law and member of the organising committee, believes the conference will help generate new knowledge about changing gender norms across Asia, the ways new technologies challenge traditional gender norms, and the challenge to gender equality posed by political regimes from Duterte’s Philippines to Modi’s India.
“The conference theme goes to the heart of critical gender issues across the region, and around the globe, that affect the social, economic and political sphere,” Associate Professor Crouch says.
“The aims of the conference are to promote interdisciplinary research and also to foster a community of scholars working to understand these issues and ultimately help to inform public policy, which has tremendous value.
“This is a particularly important forum for PhD candidates and early career scholars and this conference will offer targeted support and encouragement for them in their immediate research and future career goals.
“One of the issues we will be discussing, for example, is the increasing role of women in terror attacks,” she adds.
The conference runs from 21-23 June at the UNSW Law building and will feature numerous panel discussions on topics such as ‘Women in the Legal Profession and Judiciary in Asia’, ‘Gender Quotas’, and ‘Social Media and Gendered Participation’.
There will also be a free half-day Early Career Researcher Workshop on June 21 offering valuable insights into leadership, networking and social impact.
Joining Dr Melissa Crouch on the organising committee are Scientia Professor Louise Edwards (Humanities and Languages, UNSW), Dr Tanya Jakimow (School of Social Sciences, UNSW), Dr Felix Tan (Business School, UNSW), Dr Carmen Leong (Business School, UNSW) and Associate Professor Minako Sakai (School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra).