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GAINS of GENDER EQUALITY: Framing Discourses on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Amidst Religious Resistance in Southeast Asia

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An Inter-Movement Dialogue among Academics and
CSOs from Southeast Asia

GAINS of GENDER EQUALITY: Framing Discourses on Gender Equality and
  Women’s Rights Amidst Religious Resistance in Southeast Asia10-11 August
2018Bangkok, ThailandBackgroundThe premise of
this regional dialogue is that Southeast Asian societies are strengthened by
practices of gender equality at the economic, political, and socio-cultural
spheres. It is founded on the belief that while the advocacy for women’s
rights is led by women, its achievement will also benefit men and liberate
them from the systemic socialization of power, dominance, and violence. It is
also founded on the belief that sexual rights or sexual autonomy are central
forms of freedoms. They are freedoms not just for people of non-conforming
sexualities (LGBTQI), but for all who desire sexual expression free from
repressive sociocultural taboos.The lifelong struggle of many for gender
equality, women’s rights, and sexual autonomy are gender and sexual practices
that shape human rights and peace policies and narratives in everyday life.
In some analysis, gender practices in human rights and peace are not visible.
In other cases, gender may be added on to human rights and peace
advocacy.This dialogue sought to strengthen an integrative approach to understanding
human rights and peace as inherently shaped by gender and sexual practices.
As a culminating activity of the four-year SHAPE-SEA program, the committees,
namely Research, Publications, Education, and Academic Partnerships and
Public Advocacy, came together to launch a Regional Dialogue entitled, Gains
of Gender Equality: Framing Discourses On Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
Amidst Religious Resistance in Southeast
AsiaObjectivesThe two-day dialogue intended to
generate collective learning, collaborative leadership and co-creation of
actions for strengthening human rights and peace in SEA through:

  1. Exchanges on the gains in the area of gender equality in SEA
    across spheres of life – at the policy level, economic conditions, and/or
    socio-cultural practices despite the challenges of religious
    blocks;
  2. Sharing of approaches of overcoming restrictive
    religious traditions that have led to strengthening women’s exercise of power/empowerment
    particularly among women from the most marginalized sectors of societies in
    SEA;
  3. Conversations about the different ways of
    challenging religious resistance to sexual freedoms and the silence
    surrounding sexuality and sexual politics in the Southeast Asian context,
    particularly among people of nonconforming sexualities;
  4. Identifying what works, what needs to continue and what else needs
    to be done to ensure that notwithstanding religious extremism, gender and
    sexual practices are integral to understanding and shaping human rights and
    peace in
    SEA.

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