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The Success and the Barriers to Women's Representation in Southeast Asia: Between State Policies, Political Parties and Women's Movement

Ruth Indiah Rahayu, Adisti Ikayanti
Published Maio 2014

Abstract

This publication was resulted from analysis of four regional research conducted under the USAID funded Program called IKAT US Component 1. This e-publication highlighted the significance of women's representation in the parliament, state's political system and women's representation, patriarchal system and barriers to women political participation, women's movement for political affirmation and challenges to women's representation. Some challenges highlighted in the publication are low political will from state institutions, such as the absence of the quota policy in political party recruitment, in parliament and support to the women caucus in parliament.

The above challenges for women when participating in politics in general are similar in Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste. Those challenges above need to be addressed by a synergy of the government's policies, parties policy, and civil society movements – especially the women movement. Disharmony between these three elements will serve as fundamental obstacles for substantive women's representation. The recommendations from the e-publication are: first, to gain the achievement of the 30 percent quota for women's representation by refining the political systems in the five countries in this study. Second, to advance the descriptive representation phase to substantive representation by enhancing the awareness and quality of women upon entering the political arena through parties.

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