PANEL 4: WOMEN, EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

Seminar Room 2, 10:30-12:00
Chair: Ivana Troselj

 

Female Heroes in a Man’s Nation
Myra Mentari Abubakar, PhD Candidate, Australian National University

This paper is part of my research which seeks to theorize the idea of female heroism in Indonesia and to evaluate the importance changes of this idea from the 19th century to the present. The paper attempts to trace the phenomenon of the national heroes’ cults in Indonesia and evaluate how the process of a historical figure transforms into a heroine and a broader recognition in the national level. I will answer the question; how Indonesian nationalist constructs a heroine? I argue that the incorporation of female heroes’ character in the heavily male-dominated nationalist narrative in Indonesia is an advanced effort to improve the equality of representation of man and women in Indonesia historical narrative. This argument supports the scholarly studies that suggest Indonesian hero canonization was heavily related to the establishment of Indonesia nation and identity during the Indonesian independence period.

Myra Mentari Abubakar is currently a PhD Candidate at the School of Culture History and Language, Australia National University. Her dissertation is: “Tut Nyak Din, a Study of Female Heroism in Aceh, Indonesia.” In her project, she seeks to theorize the idea of female heroism through a historical heroine figure, Tjut Nyak Din. Prior pursuing her PhD, Myra was a lecturer in several universities in Aceh. In 2015, she completed her Master of Education from University of Canberra and commenced her doctoral studies in with a scholarship from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia.

 


 

Patriarchy, Religion and Women’s Subordination: A Case Study from Bangladesh
Md Juel Rana Kutub, PhD Candidate,University of New South Wales, Canberra

This study aims to analyse  the impact of patriarchal beliefs and religious customary laws on women’s social and family position in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi society has been portrayed as a typical example of patriarchy, where men are considered to be breadwinners and economic producers while women are economically and socially dependent on men who are regarded as financial liability. Personal and family affairs are governed by religious laws which have granted men greater powers than women and none of the laws provide for women’s equal right to marital property. Recent studies have brought to the fore the progress that Bangladesh has made toward women empowerment in the last few decades. For example, more participation in paid employment and household decision-making, having greater access to financial and economic resources, having greater bargaining power vis-à-vis their husbands, and having greater freedom of movement in rural Bangladesh. Despite different intervention’s aim to facilitate women’s empowerment through microfinance institutions, garment industries, NGOs activities, and governments’ policy including 2011 National Women Development Policy and a number of other legal instruments and protections, why has there not been the improvements in women’s social position that might be expected, such as women’s status in the society is still subordinated due to child marriage, dowry practice, gender wage gaps, occupational inequalities, and domestic violence, especially in rural society of  Bangladesh. I will examine a theory that patriarchal beliefs and religious customary laws in family and society have perpetuated women’s subordinate position in Bangladesh.

Md Juel Rana Kutub is a PhD candidate at School of Humanities and Social Science, University of New South Wales, Canberra under the supervision of Associate Professor Dr Minako Sakai. He has served as a Lecturer in Geography at Faujdarhat Cadet College from 1st February 2015 to 31 July 2018. He has also worked as a Volunteer Research Assistant from January 2012 to June 2014 at Disaster Research Training and Management Centre (DRTMC), University of Dhaka. He has graduated from the Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka. He has research interest in gender, culture, religion, Islamic microfinance and NGOs, women empowerment and disaster resilience, socio-economic development in South Asia.

 


 

 

Female labour supply and agricultural shocks: Evidence from rural Indonesia
Umi Karomah Yaumidin, PhD Candidate, Australian National University

Rural households in developing countries are vulnerable to shocks that affect their income and non- income fluctuations. Various shocks to farm household income are from plausibly exogenous factors that do not have a direct correlation with the attributes of women's involvement in the labour market. Household experience of crop failure, lack of insurance for low-income farmers, lack of men as primary breadwinners, will encourage women to work. This paper aims to reassess the impact of agricultural shocks on women's labour supply. It also examines the role of assets to reduce the adverse effects of agricultural shocks. The interaction between variables shock and assets is expected to be negative, which means there is an increase in the number of female labour participation. Using data from the Indonesian Family Survey (IFLS) for 2007-2014, I used the first difference method from the panel data to get answers to these problems. The result of the study shows that there is a significant negative impact on the participation of female workers. Their working hours were reduced by 14 percent, a result of shocks. This study also finds that there is no role for assets to minimize the negative impact of household shocks. The social safety net such as the crash program (Raskin) is not significant to help them. Overall, these results provide evidence that agricultural shocks reduce the participation of the female labour force. However, the absence of the role of assets and social security nets encourages women to work. Therefore, the results suggest calling for policy options to empower them in the labour market.

Umi Karomah Yaumidin is a researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). She is currently a PhD candidate at Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU). Her research interests are agriculture economics, development economics, labour economics, and international trade. Umi received research funding from international donors such as Sumitomo foundation and East Asian Development Network.

 


 

The emergence of menstrual hygiene management on global development agendas
Imogen D’Souza, Honours Student, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Over the last decade, unmet challenges relating to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for women and girls in the Global South have gained significant global attention. MHM is facilitated through access to clean absorbents or menstrual products, with facilities to change, clean and dispose of absorbents, and access to soap and water for cleaning the body. Without these resources, it is considered difficult to practice menstruation with dignity. Poor MHM is now widely recognised as a development and public health issue after years of neglect and the nascent MHM movement finds itself located in a broader gradual de-stigmatisation of menstruation – a historically taboo subject across cultures in both the Global North and South. This paper seeks to explore MHM’s journey as a global development agenda item by investigating the history, events and players that have shaped and influenced its widespread recognition. In doing so, it examines the support MHM currently receives, identifying the enablers and barriers that assist or prevent the issue from gaining priority status on these agendas. Through this analysis, it confirms that sensitive and effective interventions require a deeper understanding of the social and cultural elements of menstruation.

Imogen D’Souza is an Honours student with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Research and Policy, majoring in Development Studies. She is interested in the intersection of public health and development and how gender and sexuality dimensions exacerbate health and development issues. Alongside her studies, she works in policy consulting and evaluation, and has previous experience working in non-government organisations and policy peak bodies across Sydney.