Gender, Religion and Development

Women’s Economic Empowerment in Indonesia

In this ongoing project, Minako Sakai, Amelia Fauzia and Felix Tan explore how emergent IT and social media foster Muslim women’s participation in economic activities, with a focus on Muslim women in Indonesia.  Islam and local culture affects the construction of gender relations and patriarchy, and accommodating unique socio-cultural contexts is a key for women’s empowerment and wellbeing (Narratives of Muslim Womanhood and Women’s Agency (2018).  Our research show that gradual changes in gender relations are also facilitating religious and cultural tolerance.

Challenging Patriarchy in the Asia and Pacific

Under this project, Sarah Cooke, Jan Breckenridge, Louise Edwards, Felix Tan, Amelia Fauzia and Minako Sakai explore how women’s economic empowerment challenge and reconfigure patriarchy, gender roles and gendered violence in the Asia Pacific region. 

Gender Inclusivity and Social Policy in the Asia Pacific

In this project Minako Sakai, Juel Kutub and Farhat Hamid explore how gender inclusivity in social development policies can be achieved through case studies of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Crowd Funding and Religious Pluralism in Indonesia

Minako Sakai and Bhirawa Anoraga in this project explore how the use of new media including crowdfunding are contributing to foster religious tolerance in contemporary Indonesia.

Religion and Women’s Rights in Lebanon

Nelia Hyndman-Rizk has published a monograph titled Lebanese Women in Crossroads (2020) in which she has explored the intersection between women’s rights and Lebanon’s confessional political and legal system.

Beauty, Ugliness and China’s Changing Gender Norms

Scientia Professor Louise Edwards under this project explores the construction of gender relations through her historical analysis of Chinese aesthetics funded by an ARC discovery grant.   This project explores the connections between political programs promoting social change and cultural and commercial activities in China since 1900. The project tackles ones of the most intransigent and controversial aspects of social organisation—gender norms—by analysing discourses of beauty and ugliness. It commences with the hypothesis that perceptions of beauty and ugliness are powerful persuasive tools deployed by social reformers and states in their public campaigns to change attitudes, but that ordinary people also query and modify these promoted ideals.