Women and Children
FOCUS ASIA 13-14 October 2011
Women in Asian countries face realities that many women in European countries would consider as unacceptable practices, treatments and conditions within the contexts of growing up, family life, marriage, motherhood, work, social relations and mobility. Religious systems, especially Islam, as well as social systems that subject a woman to her father, husband or son are perceived as a major source for the unequal treatment of women.
During the two-days-lasting 15th Focus Asia, the public was presented with original, contemporary research conducted in the Asian, mostly urban, region including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Pakistan. While some speakers addressed topics such as motherhood, growing up and identity within particular countries others dealt with problems caused by Asian migration, and national and social sentiments, customs and laws from gender or feminist perspectives.
Several presentations focused on the interplay between social change, especially in regard to rapid changes in the female positioning within society and national laws and policies, which are often in the way of social changes that came into existence to empower women. Speakers also dealt with problematic female categories, with ways how gender is shaped and assumed by male and female actors from childhood on as well as how gender-images are disseminated and discussed. Presentations were concerned with several female (and male) categories such as children, mothers, single women, male feminists and Islam oriented feminists, and thus ensured a specialised – yet broad and unique in its combination – insight into what and who women and children are in contemporary Asia.