Student Research Panel: Gender and Environmentalism in East Asia

Key information

12:15 PM to 1:45 PM
Virtual Event

About this event

Olivia Chollet & Lizzie Frost

Discussants: Simona Grano and Dafydd Fell

This event will be held through Microsoft Teams .

Olivia Chollet: Politicization through Gendered Activism Women in the Japanese Anti-Nuclear Movement

Exploring the patterns of women’s political activism in Japan, the present work will compare the role of women in two eras of anti-nuclear campaigning, respectively in the mid- 1970s and after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. It will start by situating them against the backdrop of a patriarchal and neoliberal society in which both nuclear energy and gender roles play a strategic part, thus offering only narrow opportunities for political opposition – be it in terms of gender equality or energy policies. This context will allow to explain the persistence and the rationale of women’s gendered activism over a half-century, understanding it as a conscious, double-edged compromise between contradictory societal expectations. Acknowledging the limited political impact of their gendered activism at the macro-level, this paper will then turn to demonstrate the inherent micro-level political-ness of women anti-nuclear activists through their appropriation and redefinition of gender roles. It will conclude by attempting to prove the contemporary relevance of such political-ness in the framework of alternative forms of politics.

Olivia Chollet Biography

After spending two semesters in Japan as part of her undergraduate studies in international relations, Olivia recently completed a MA in Pacific Asian Studies at SOAS. She hopes to continue researching on issues related to gender and environmental politics in the context of East Asia. Her other interests include literature and theatre.

Lizzie Frost: Feminists. Eco-warriors. Housewives. The success of the Homemakers United Foundation

From successfully campaigning to implement a nation-wide recycling program in the 1990s to the creation of Taipei’s first citizen-led solar power plant, the Homemaker’s United Foundation has been heralded as a key player in Taiwan’s grassroots environmental movement. But what accounts for these accomplishments?

SOAS student Lizzie Frost argues that the multifaceted identity of the Homemaker’s United Foundation - simultaneously an environmental, feminist, and consumer movement - has been a key factor in its success, enabling the group to engage its primarily female membership in environmental activism.

Lizzie Frost Biography

Lizzie Frost is a finalist at SOAS, studying Chinese and International Relations. Her research interests revolve around environmental policy and green civil society groups in the Chinese-speaking world. Lizzie is currently writing a dissertation exploring the green framing of China's Belt and Road Initiative whilst working part-time for the China Dialogue Trust as a social media assistant.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

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