Book highlights: Women in Southeast Asia and beyond

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March every year. This March, ISEAS Library presents a selection of books by and about women in Southeast Asia and beyond. These include biographies, scholarly research, as well as studies on historical and contemporary issues.

Women in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore

The apple and the tree: life as Dr Mahathir’s daughter / Marina Mahathir. Call no: DS597.215 M33A3

“This book hopes to detail how she has navigated her life as the daughter of a charismatic politician and a loving father, even as sometimes she has chafed at being constantly under his shadow. It talks about how she has struggled to find her own identity, to defend her worldview at times and to reconcile them with his at others.” – Publisher.

Breaking barriers: portraits of inspiring Chinese-Indonesian women / Aimee Dawis. Call no: DS632.3 C5D26

As members of a tiny ethnic minority in Indonesia―the world’s largest Islamic nation―Chinese-Indonesian women face hurdles of race and gender that others would find insurmountable. In Breaking Barriers, author Aimee Dawis profiles nine highly accomplished women who have overcome these obstacles and thrived. 

Women in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam

Essential Trade: Vietnamese Women in a Changing Marketplace. Call no: HD6072.6 V5L62

Winner of the Association for Asian Studies – Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies, 2016.

“[…] a compelling account of postwar southern Vietnam as seen through the eyes of the dynamic women who have navigated forty years of profound change while building their businesses in the stalls of Ben Thanh market.”– Publisher.

Lost goddesses: the denial of female power in Cambodian history / Trudy Jacobsen. Call no: HQ1750.3 J17

In a narrative and visual tour de force, Trudy Jacobsen examines the relationship between women and power in Cambodian history. Here, she seeks to describe when and why the status of women changed and what factors contributed to these changes.

Women in Southeast Asia and Asia

Women in Southeast Asian Nationalist Movements: a biographical approach / edited by Susan Blackburn and Helen Ting. Call no: HQ1236.5 A9W871

The authors show women negotiating their own subjectivity and agency at the confluence of colonialism, patriarchal traditions, and modern ideals of national and personal emancipation. They also illustrate the constraints imposed on them by wider social and political structures, and show what it was like to live as a political activist in different times and places. – Publisher.

Rethinking Representations of Asian Women: Changes, Continuity, and Everyday Life / edited by Noriko Ijichi, Atsufumi Kato, Ryoko Sakurada. Call no: HQ1726 R43

Based on historic and ethnographic approaches, this volume examines how the ideological images of Asian women are produced, circulated, appropriated, and pluralized. Contributors analyze the interactions between the politicized formation of ideological representations and the everyday practices of women who resist and re-contextualize these images. – Publisher.

Women around the World

Invisible women: exposing data bias in a world designed for men / Caroline Criado Perez. Call no: HQ1237 C92

Invisible Women has won the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, the Books Are My Bag Readers’ Choice Award and the Royal Society Science Book Prize. “Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates the shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women, diving into women’s lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor’s office, and more.” – Publisher.

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