A Luta Kontinua (The Struggle Continues): The marginalization of east timorese women within the Veterans' Valorization scheme

Lia Kent, Naomi Kinsella

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines how East Timorese women's contributions to the resistance against the twenty-four-year Indonesian occupation ("the Resistance") have been marginalized within the veteran's valorization scheme (veterans' scheme) established in the post-conflict period. Drawing on interviews with politicians, veterans and members of women's organizations, we show that although women played significant roles within the Armed, Clandestine and Diplomatic fronts, for the most part they have not been recognized as veterans within the veterans' scheme. Instead, the scheme has reinforced perceptions of women's roles as wives, mothers, homemakers and widows, rather than as political actors, suggesting that the return to "peace" in Timor-Leste has been accompanied by the strengthening of patriarchal traditions and the expectation that women return to "traditional" roles. We argue that the failure to recognize women as veterans is problematic both for East Timorese women and society as a whole. It represents a lost opportunity to recognize women's agency and potentially to improve their social status in society. It also narrows the way in which the independence struggle is remembered and represented and further promotes a culture of "militarized masculinity" that elevates and rewards men who show the capacity to use violence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-494
    JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
    Volume17
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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