Dreaming of a Different life: Steps Towards Democracy and Equality in Timor-Leste

  • Ann Wigglesworth Monash Asia Institute
Keywords: Gender, young women, civil society, participation, democracy, Timor-Leste


Customary gender roles in Timor-Leste have a profound effect on the respective life opportunities of young Timorese women and men, but since independence, there have been challenges to traditional gender roles. This article investigates how young Timorese women, due to their gender and age, face significant limits to their social and political participation and how young women in rural areas continue to be amongst the least heard members of the community. Drawing on interviews with Timorese women and youth, the article analyses

the opportunities and limitations for young women to further their education and engage constructively in the development of their communities.