Promises of Empowerment: Women in Asia and Latin America.Promises of Empowerment: Women in Asia and Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. . Edited by Peter H. Smith, Jennifer L. Troutner, and Christine Hunefeldt. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004. xii + 292 pp.
Comparisons between Asian countries, particularly those from East Asia East Asia
A region of Asia coextensive with the Far East.
East Asian adj. & n. , and Latin America are usually humbling for Latin Americans This is a list of notable Latin American people. In alphabetical order within categories. Actors
Gender--the subject of the book under review--presents another intriguing puzzle, however. Why have East Asian countries underachieved in comparison with Latin America? "Underachievement" in this case means that the development of gender parity in East Asia lags behind what might be expected from the achievements of East Asian countries as measured by the UN's human development index or gross domestic product (GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. ) per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. . Troutner and Smith's introduction provides ample evidence. Japan's GDP per capita is seven times greater than Mexico's, but Mexico has proportionately twice as many women in professional administrative and managerial positions. South Korea has five times the GDP per capita of Central America Central America, narrow, southernmost region (c.202,200 sq mi/523,698 sq km) of North America, linked to South America at Colombia. It separates the Caribbean from the Pacific. , but its proportion of professional administrators and managers is only a third of the Central American Central America
A region of southern North America extending from the southern border of Mexico to the northern border of Colombia. It separates the Caribbean Sea from the Pacific Ocean and is linked to South America by the Isthmus of Panama. level. Even Ecuador, with one-ninth South Korea's GDP per capita, has nearly three times more parliamentarians.
This book, unfortunately, does not answer directly this fascinating comparative question, but it provides ways to think about it. Christine Hunefeldt's conclusion makes a case that the approach to the questions posed by change helps to explain part of the puzzle. The otherwise very capable but male-peopled East Asian states have faced fewer feminist movements rooted in civil society than has been the case in Latin America. The otherwise much less capable and equally male-peopled Latin American states have faced more numerous, autonomous, and significant feminist movements. Women's movements are featured in official Mexican school textbooks but not in South Korea's, according to Hwa Soo Chung. Chilean feminists, Marcela Rios Tobar tells us, played a vibrant role in Chile's democratic transition but less so in East Asia's. And Norma Iglesias shows that female film directors in Mexico help shape the gendered agenda of the future.
This work also suggests that the gap between the regions might narrow. Tokuko Ogai presents a subtle account of how some Japanese feminists made use of the personal to reshape the political. They succeeded in changing Japanese policies with regard to pensions and elderly care, resulting in a reduction of the burden on women for such care. Mauro Neves Jr. demonstrates that Japanese television dramas are bolder than Brazil's in the treatment of homosexual characters. Moreover, Brazilian telenovelas depict roles for both men and women that are more gender conservative than is the case on Japanese television. Bu Wei presents interesting data showing the fast increase in women's access to the Internet in China; though women still are less connected electronically than men, the Internet has already had an impact on women's attitudes, auguring change in China's gendered future. And Rae Lesser Blumberg records the efforts, albeit only partly successful, of Nepal's government to train women political leaders.
In addition, Latin America may regress REGRESS. Returning; going back opposed to ingress. (q.v.) and thus converge with East Asia. Rios Tobar shows the decline in the independence and clout of feminist movements in Chile past the transition to democracy. Sanae Kora KORA Kansas Open Records Act demonstrates that the salient role of Chilean professional women owes too much to their capacity to hire domestic servants--an option not readily available to Japanese professional women. The heavy burden of social class is also a grim fact in Peru, ably presented in Carolina Trivelli's chapter. And the flip side Flip side
In the context of general equities, opposite side to a proposition or position (buy, if sell is the proposition and vice versa). of Neves's chapter is that Brazilian television "soap operas" may foster rigidities rather than flexibility in gender roles.
This book also examines relations between markets and gender. Lesser Blumberg's persuasive chapter argues that the acquisition of economic resources increases the likelihood that women would obtain other forms of power, including in politics. Voravidh Charoenloet and Flor de Lis Vasquez Munoz examine the impact of severe economic crises on gendered markets in Mexico in 1995 and Thailand in 1997. Thai women were more likely to lose their jobs, while Mexican women were more likely to keep theirs, relative to each other but also to men. The income of Mexican women, quite low, remained so, while Thai women scoured for ways to sustain their income in informal markets, including prostitution.
There are "many paths to power," as noted in the title of Irene Tinker's excellent chapter. She explores the vigorous electoral politics of India Politics of India takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of India is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. , Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and to a lesser extent Pakistan, all of which have elected at least one woman prime minister--Sri Lanka's Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the first-ever female head of state in the modem world. These women, Tinker argues, lacked feminist agendas, but surely their example must have made it easier for girls to imagine a different future for themselves. In Southeast Asia, in contrast, women had traditionally held a larger role in trade, which in modern times has been replicated--for instance, in Thailand--through a significant role for women in professions such as medicine. In communist Asia, in turn, the state fostered equality between men and women, an agenda threatened by the weakening grasp of communist parties.
Enlightening as this book is, treatment of three additional topics might have strengthened it. One follows from Tinker's analysis. Are the trends that Tinker describes for China and Vietnam specific to communist parties in East Asia or equally apparent (I believe so) in communist Cuba? A second missing subject appears in Jane Jaquestte's thought-provoking foreword but nowhere else in the book. Why did some Latin American activists, unlike in East Asia, choose "motherhood" as a political identity? And why do Latin American feminists so value the autonomy of their movements from the state while East Asian activists measure success through recognition from the state? Finally, a book so sensitive to many meanings of power--power over, power with, power to, power within--never once focuses on the first form of power that matters to us all, namely that core liberal value, pertinent relative to parents, spouses, bosses, and states: power from.
Jorge I. Dominguez
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs