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This article reviews the evolution of women's studies in Korea, focusing on the experience of Ewha Womans University. As part of larger study, its starting point is the late 19th century up to the beginnings of institutionalization of women’s studies in the middle of the 1970s. This review provides a case of how education for girls raised feminist consciousness and gave impetus to women’s movements and a series of social reforms.
This study explores how middle-aged married women in Hong Kong deal with their identity as "si-nai" and their life circumstances as they enter mid-life. The empirical data help elucidate the underlying assumptions of certain theorizations of heterosexuality, such as Gayle Rubin’s critique of sexuality in terms of ‘good sex’ and ‘bad sex.’ The benefit of a life cycle approach should be recognized, in order to appreciate the situations of middle-aged women, how they may be at a disadvantage due to age, gender and class background and how they feel threatened by younger women who may not be respectable wives and mothers but are in fact high in ‘market value.’ A multi-dimensional framework is called for in order to understand women’s lives, within which sexual values or practices that Rubin discusses are but one variable among a host of other dimensions such as gender, class, age, education, and culture.
In a male dominated society, women do not receive the same encouragement as men do in taking jobs traditionally identified as the male domain such as policing. Objectives of this study of women policing in India are to provide an insight into the organization and working of the all-women police stations, to identify the strengths and weaknesses, and to analyze whether they realistically empower women or are merely adopted as embellishments to project the myth of women's status and power. The women police, originally institutionalized on the idea and the social conditions of sexual division of labor, remains typically women's jobs: fewer in number, very few in higher level, concentration on the "women's" duties with "proper" training. On the other hand, once entered the women achieve certain degree of self-confidence. Under the circumstance, it is hard to conclude that women police promises a direction toward gender equality, but it is the author's view that women police has some value in protecting women's well-being and in enhancing the image and role of women in the society and, thus, needs improvement.
Female rural-urban migration has significantly contributed to the economic growth of Thailand in the last three decades, particularly in industry and tourism. What is less known, however, is how migrant women navigate their lives in the city and, in particular, their experience of violent relationships from which they attempt to free themselves. Such action runs contrary to earlier notions of women as passive victims of domestic violence. On the basis of interviews with rural migrant women in two Bangkok shelters, we argue that poor women experience major constraints in freeing themselves from violent relationships, which cannot be solely attributed to the cultural system of male domination in Thai society. Gender inequality alone cannot explain the response of women to domestic violence, since it intersects with other systems of power and stratification. This “inter-sectionality” shapes the nature of women’s response to domestic violence, how it is experienced and whether escape and safety are indeed possible for them.
This paper seeks to understand the complexity of the Chinese woman’s gender identity in the global workplace in contemporary China. Based on data collected via in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus group discussions, this paper has developed a framework to examine how different forces, ranging from foreign companies, mass media and the women’s own experiences, commingle to define these women’s gender identity. The analyses also show that young educated women in urban China have been a privileged group compared to other women in China, as they redefined their gender identity based on their own work and life experiences. I conclude by discussing the class and regional implications of these findings on urban Chinese women.
We are celebrating the abolishment of "Hojuje" or the patriarchal family registry system, which defines the status of each family member in relation to the head of the household. The Constitutional Court ruled "Hojuje" runs counter to the Constitution in February, 2006. Since 1950's Korean women have fought against the Patriarchal Family Registry System, which considers only male as the legal descendants of the household and legitimizes inequity between men and women. This essay is dedicated to the women who committed their lives for the equal rights between man and women in Korea, honoring their work and gratifying the spiritual legacy that they bestowed us.
While recent studies and contemporary films have focused on the plight of widows in India, very little has addressed the myriad ways in which women’s lives are circumscribed through cultural controls over sexuality. This paper highlights that the defining of women’s identity primarily through sexuality is not just about patriarchal control, but also historically perpetuates and legitimizes masculine power and masculinity over women. The condition of widows, then, follows from multiple social forces and traditions that define and perpetuate a ritualized masculinity, which are complex and difficult to overcome.
This paper examines the situation of Nepalese women in Hong Kong as members of the smallest ethnic minority in the territory. Tracing the changing social and cultural conditions of three generations of women migrants, it looks at the interface of gender and ethnic minority identity as articulated within the context of transnational mobility and the women’s marginalized existence, both within their own community and in mainstream Chinese society. While Nepalese women migrants in Hong Kong have been assigned a passive mother-wife role, they are important building blocks of a transnational network and today, increasingly, as agents of change. These changes are further examined in light of the recently passed Racial Discrimination Ordinance. By juxtaposing how social marginalization is dealt with at the government, family, and individual levels, the study shows that an in-depth and gender-aware understanding of the lived experience of ethnic minorities is the key to the formulation of an efficacious multicultural policy.
Questions posed in this paper are to do with the antecedents of the Indian women's movement, the model of womanhood that it has sought to promote, the influences which it seeks to combat or draw upon in fulfilling its objectives and some of the contemporary issues addressed by it. Thus, examined are some historical processes that preceded the women's movement in India, which began in 1974-75, and these are viewed in the light of the present. To begin with, there is discussion on reform for women in: the social reform movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the ensuing years of the national struggle; and the period following independence in 1947. The mid-seventies mark the beginning of the present wave of the movement, during which the concept itself gained currency. The role of women's organizations and the State is discussed as these are principal players in the arena of the movement. Finally, the challenge posed by conservative forces is noted as the progressive groups, that constitute the women's movement, have to address themselves to it. This challenge is articulated by a range of groups, including women's organizations, and it reflects the social and cultural mores embedded in existing institutions, and increasingly, in political forums.