Kartini Asia Network


The Kartini Network for Women’s/Gender Studies in Asia was formally established in Manila in May 2003 after two years of preparation, during which time the network was called GINA, Gender Institutes Network in Asia. Kartini, named after the Indonesian pioneering feminist writer and activist, aims to create synergy between women’s/gender studies and feminist activism in the region. Kartini members are women’s/gender studies centres or institutes and feminist organizations in Asia and elsewhere. Major objectives of the Kartini Network are to increase the knowledge base of the participating members, to strengthen their inter-disciplinary research skills, to contribute to the development of comparative and collaborative research programs that respond to the needs of women in the region and to create an open, flexible platform of exchange in the area of women’s/gender studies between Asian scholars/activists working within academic institutes and in women’s organizations through regular Kartini Network Asian Women’s Studies conferences. Another issue Kartini members are concerned with is the training of gender trainers and policy-makers in the field of women’s and gender issues at the operational level, sharing of methodologies and data exchange. Kartini strives to make Asian women’s voices better heard in processes of nation-building and socio-economic development. The network also aims to incorporate women’s rights in cultural and religious institutions and movements.

Kartini members recognize that the region is characterized by an unprecedented growth of fundamentalism, increasing economic insecurities, due to globalization and SAP, as well as external and internal conflicts, wars and other forms of aggression. These crises are gendered and affect women in multiple ways. Within the Asian region, the initiatives developed by women’s/gender studies institutes and the research undertaken by women’s organizations may be seen as a collective response to the need for gender-sensitive and feminist-informed knowledge of society, new forms of gender analysis of social change, and of government intervention and development policy within the framework of ODA (Overseas Development Assistance). At the same time the women’s movements which became a major social and political force in many countries since the 1980s have expressed the need for more data and better theories to support their work. The Kartini network will foster cooperation between academics and activists within the Asian region and with a few selected strategic partners in non-Asian countries who are working from a feminist perspective.

Kartini members share a broad characterization of feminism, as based on an awareness of the multiple forms of women’s subordination, oppression and exploitation, which are shaped by structural, both global and national socio-political, economic and ideological dimensions, as well as the willingness to change these relations of subordination.

The approach of Kartini research and activism is cross-cultural and comparative within the Asian context, incorporating both empirical work and theoretical reflection. Tailor-made advanced training courses will be organized both in research methodologies and in women’s theories around particular themes identified by the network.

Institution type: 
Research network
Menara Kartika Chandra, Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 18-20 Suite 810F, 8th Floor South Jakarta, Jakarta Indonesia.