Women’s Movement in Portuguese Timor

At the recent SHAPS Postgraduate Work in Progress Day on 7 June, Hannah Loney presented a paper titled ‘The target of a double exploitation: The Emergence of a Women’s Movement in Portuguese Timor’, in which she explored the origins of the women’s movement that emerged in Portuguese Timor from 1974-5.  Hannah examined the role of culture, religion, history and the experience of colonialism within the construction of the ‘feminine’, and how this formulation was represented by the nationalist movement.  She examined the selective application of aspects of feminist theories to produce a uniquely East Timorese brand of feminism, which was forged out of the material conditions of life within the territory.  Hannah argues that nationalist politics both liberated and constrained East Timorese women, by highlighting the double challenge of opposing the colonial regime, as well as the gender discrimination of the nationalist movement.