04.03.2018

From the drawing board to reality

Political Feminism in Asia, a regional project by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung brings together feminist groups for joint action across the region.

How can we enable joint action between feminist groups across the region?

That’s precisely what Friedrich-Ebert-Sifting (FES) and partners in Asia want to find out with the regional project Political Feminism in AsiaPolFemAsia by addressing gendered problems, which have similar roots across different societies. To get there, FES in Asia has set up Future Labs, a place for participating partners from eight countries in the region to exchange ideas and explore different approaches to address them.  

The story begins with the formation of regional core groups and inquiry into the best fitting method during FutureLab 1 in Singapore back in March 2017. The working groups from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia got together again in Nepal in September 2017 for Future Lab 2 to translate ideas into practical collaborations for action across regions.

Here they are at work in Nepal during Future Lab  2. 

  • Facilitator Dr Moritz Gekeler introduces the concept of design thinking to address solving social problems such as gender-based discrimination. While primarily used in the business world, its focus on solutions, combining empathy for target groups with a designer’s sensibility to match needs with viable solutions, makes it useful in addressing complex social issues. Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • From animations to documentaries, mobile apps to educational curriculums, working groups examined various media they can use to address complex gender issues, as well as incorporating design thinking into their approaches at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • Working Group 1: (From left to right) Aisha (Pakistan), Shubha (India), Duanghathai and Chalidaporn (Thailand), with (not pictured) Syaldi (Indonesia) and Veronica (Philippines) produce a series of animations portraying gender realities of everyday life to challenge existing narratives set forth by patriarchy and to create empathy towards the lives of women as part of their project plan at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • Working Group 2: (left to right) Maggie (Philippines), Ika (Indonesia), with (not pictured) Farhat (Pakistan) and Mahmudul (Bangladesh) develop a short documentary focusing on maternity rights for women at work as part of their project plan at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • Working Group 3: (left to right) Adrienne (FES) listens to Aliya (Pakistan), Mylene (Philippines), Xiaopeng (China), Ranee (Thailand), and (not pictured) Shalini (India) create an interdisciplinary teaching module for trade unions to address gendered issues surrounding rights at work and recognition for different forms of labour, and to create bridges between the work and achievements by the feminists and labour movements, as part of their project plan at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • Working Group 4: (left to right) Chen (Taiwan), Varaporn (Thailand), Devi (Indonesia), Medhavinee (India), with (not pictured) Sharmee (Bangladesh), Meggan (Philippines) develop a mobile app tool to evaluate cultural products in Asia, targeted for feminists, gender educators and trade unions as part of their project plan at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal
  • FES staff, participants and organizers at Future Lab 2, Political Feminism in Asia, 22-25 September 2017, Nepal, Katmandu. Photo: FES / Jeevan Rijal

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For more information on the regional project contact Lea Goelnitz, Programme Manager at the FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia. 

FES in Asia

This website gives you regular updates of FES regional projects and activities across our Asia country offices.

It offers news articles on current debates and a range of research publications and policy briefs to download.  

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