Successful Women's Coalitions in Papua New Guinea and Malaysia: Feminism, Friendships and Social Change

This paper draws on case studies of two successful women’s coalitions: the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Port Moresby (BPW) in Papua New Guinea, and Joint Action Group on Gender Equality (JAG) in Malaysia.
 
BPW brings elite women together ‘to work for equal opportunities and status for women in the economic, social and political life in Papua New Guinea’, particularly through sponsoring girls’ education. JAG is a coalition of feminist civil society groups that promotes women’s rights across a broad range of issues and contexts.
 
By focusing on successful women’s coalitions the study adds to Tadros’ (2011) insights about the factors that help build success, while demonstrating that definitions of ‘success’ differ according to a coalition’s aims and the contexts in which it operates. The findings also support Hodes et al. (2011)’s finding that ‘soft advocacy’ and ‘backstage politics’ can be more effective strategies in some contexts. For instance, in PNG, BPW worked to slowly transform women’s lives in a relatively non-threatening way, while those involved with JAG were more explicitly feminist in their aims and activities.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

Find out more

News

New studies on leadership for transformational change in Africa

Thursday 31st May 2018

A new series of studies asks what factors support or hinder leadership for transformational change in Africa. They are published in collaboration with the UONGOZI Institute.

Read more

New article on politically informed work for climate change mitigation in China and India

Monday 21st May 2018

In Development Policy Review, Tom Harrison and Genia Kostka draw on their DLP research project to explore 'Bureaucratic manoeuvres and the local politics of climate change mitigation in China and India'.

Read more

Follow: @dlprog