Dynasty and Double Standards: Women Leaders in South Asia

This article was published by Roar.lk. Full article here: http://roar.lk/features/of-dynasty-and-double-standards-women-leaders-in-south-asia/

While the U.S. has arguably shown the world that it would rather have a leader that grabs pussies than has one, in South Asia only the Maldives and Bhutan (which is a patrilineal monarchy in any case) have not had a female head of state. Political scientists have been fascinated by this exceptionalism of female leadership in Asia but much of the research says the same thing.

“… the easiest way for a woman to enter politics is to marry a politician”[i]

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Stop calling me a feminist

I don’t call myself a feminist. Since I was a teen, it has been plaguing me as to why everyone chooses to call me that instead of say, a postcolonial critic, a mathematician, a writer, a goof, or any of the things that I do actually identify myself as.

Once, a friend joked that if we were playing Taboo and they said ‘Annie’ as a clue everyone would immediately guess feminism.

How did I become synonymous with that?

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#25forwomen: why affirmative action is not discrimination

Five quick reasons Sri Lanka needs affirmative action:

  1. Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia without a quota for women in government: http://www.quotaproject.org/uid/countryview.cfm?country=131
  2. Female population of SL is 52% but less than 6% representation in parliament, out of which their participation is less than 3%
    http://www.manthri.lk/en/blog/posts/whither-women-in-parliament
  3. In 2012/2013 admissions year, 61.3% of total university admissions were female; 85.7% of law admissions were female. We need to break the myth that there aren’t enough qualified women to lead us and that women aren’t informed enough to make intelligent decisions about how we must be governed.
    http://www.ugc.ac.lk/downloads/statistics/stat_2013/chapter2.pdf
  4. Women’s issues are not a ‘minor’ issue. Gendered persepectives are essential to creating policy regarding reconciliation, social welfare, labour practice, education, everything. Boxing ‘women’s issues’ under one Ministry solves nothing.
  5. Finally, it was promised to the nation by this government: http://www.president.gov.lk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-new-Sri-Lanka-for-Women-EN.jpg

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