Are gender quotas helping female politicians in Asia?

South Korean President Park Geun-hye walks after offering incense to the victims of the Korean War during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Korean Memorial Day at the Seoul National Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, 6 June 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Netina Tan, McMaster University

In January 2016, Tsai Ing-wen made history after being elected as Taiwan’s first female president. Several women before her such as Park Geun-hye in South Korea, Ying-luck Shinawatra in Thailand and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar have all risen to top political leadership in recent years. Read more…

Making federalism work for India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the oath taking ceremony of Sarbananda Sonowal as chief minister of the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, India. (Photo: AAP)

Author: M. Govinda Rao, NIPFP

In economic terms, the federal system was created with the intention of maximising economies of scale, while still providing public services to cater to people’s divergent preferences. But there is more to federalism than just the economics. In political terms, federalism involves building a strong national polity by combining sub-national entities and, in emotional terms, federalism provides a national bond while permitting multiple local identities to be retained.

Read more…

What should be on Duterte’s foreign policy agenda?

Filipino President-elect Rodrigo Duterte talking to Chinese envoy Zhang Jianhua during a meeting in Davao City, southern Philippines, 2 June 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby, De La Salle University

To the Philippines’ president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, the world is black and white, with hardly any shades of grey in between. His view informs his policy approach. His law and order platform, for example, promised change in a country riddled with poor infrastructure and public services Read more…

Women and politics in East Asia

Elderly Filipino women help each other at a voting center in San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on 10 May 2010. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Katharine H.S. Moon, Wellesley College

This is supposed to be the Asian century, with East Asian countries leading the way. The world admires many East Asian countries for their miraculous economic growth, democracy-building and cultural innovation. But can East Asia also provide a model for developing women’s rights and political power? Read more…

A year on, why has Nepal failed to recover?

Rubble and demolished buildings following the 2015 earthquake, Nepal. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sujeev Shakya, Nepal Economic Forum

In May 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck Nepal. Thousands were killed and injured, and close to a million people were rendered homeless. A year on from the earthquake Nepal is still struggling to rebuild. Why has the recovery process fallen short?

Read more…

Papua New Guinea: students shot, country damaged

20120627000507408191-minihighres

Author: Bill Standish, Canberra

On Wednesday 8 June, Papua New Guinea police fired on a peaceful student demonstration at the University of PNG (UPNG); four students received bullet wounds, 20 were injured and hundreds tear-gassed. Read more…

Japanese politics still a man’s world

House of Representatives members leave the lower house chamber in Tokyo on 1 June 2016, as the 150-day ordinary parliamentary session closes. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Emma Dalton, La Trobe University

Japan has the lowest percentage of women’s political representation in the industrialised world. Only 12 per cent of seats in the national legislative assembly, the Diet, are held by women. This is compared to a 22 per cent world average and a 19 per cent average in Asia. Read more…