Women in an Era of Anti-Elitism: Responding to the Challenge of Rising Populism and its Threat to Gender Inclusivity

Dates: 21 June to 23 June 2019

Location: UNSW Sydney, Kensington

There is a significant populist trend in which ‘elites’ are increasingly seen as being ‘out of touch’ with ‘ordinary people’. This is manifest across the globe but includes Asia. WIAC2019 considers the role and position of women in Asia in an era of anti-elitism. A range of pressing social, economic and legal challenges face the nation-state and regional stability due to rising populism in Asia. 

WIAC 2019 seeks to:

  • generate new knowledge about the impact of changing gender norms in the context of growing support for anti-elite, conservative and fundamentalist movements. 
  • adopt an interdisciplinary, comparative and gendered approach. 
  • consider how changing gender norms intersect with populism’s appeal in Asia.
  • explore the ways that perceived threats to traditional norms of men and women’s roles and diverse expressions of gender and sexuality are fundamental to the rise in Asian populism.

For example:

  • The rise of female education and protective quotas has expanded women’s roles in politics, the medical and legal professions and businesses and unsettled the normative gender divide of domestic sphere (female) vs public sphere (male). 
  • New technologies of communication and media challenge traditional gendered power norms.
  • As women’s economic, political, technical and social power increases, men sometimes perceive themselves to be the losers of a zero-sum game.

Populism is gendered and Asia offers excellent opportunities for exploring cross-cultural, cross-religious, trans-historical evidence on this rising global phenomenon.

For more about the conference, click here.