Fourth Asia-Pacific Congress of
Women in Politics
1-3 September 1997

The Practice of Transformative Politics

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The 4th Asia-Pacific Congress of Women in Politics was held on 1-3 September 1997 at Taipei, Taiwan with 351 participants from 18 countries. This Congress focused on further developing the Asia-Pacific women's vision of transformative politics. This vision has been articulated in previous congresses. The 4th Congress therefore was an occasion to formulate a critical tool to help flesh out their vision of transformative politics. In a series of workshops, participants identified values, processes of governance and institutional structures that they consider to be transformative. Their output was subsequently consolidated by CAPWIP into a guidebook titled Transforming Politics: Women's Experiences from the Asia-Pacific Region.

The Congress was also an opportunity to strengthen the CAPWIP network. A workshop to assess CAPWIP's progress vis-à-vis the Platform for Action to Promote Women's Equal Access to Power in the Asia-Pacific Region was held. Afterwards the participants decided on a set of regional annual output covering the period of 1998 to 2002. These outputs were classified into those that are specific to a sub-region and those being proposed across the entire region. Since CAPWIP's sub-regional and national affiliates are autonomous, the output is more of a reference point by which they can pace their progress towards the goal of women's political empowerment. In brief, the areas of consensus across the East Asia, Pacific, South and South East Asia sub-regions are:

  1. Establishment of a national, sub-regional and regional database focused on Women in Politics. At the minimum, the data to be collected during the period 1998-2002 will be on the following:
    · Number of women in elective positions
    · Number of women members in political parties
    · Number of female candidates for elective positions
  2. Participants agreed to have the system set up by December 1997 with the sub-regional focal points coordinating efforts in their respective areas.
  3. Priority to be given to the formation of potent national networks of women in politics with an identified focal point for each country. This is aimed at strengthening the cooperation within the sub-regional networks.

Two papers from the Congress are available in the Resources section of this site:

  1. The Practice of Transformative Politics by Rounaq Jahan, and
  2. Transactional Politics in the Public Sector by Patricia Sto. Tomas, Former Chairperson, Philippine Civil Service Commission

Participants write down their experiences of transactional politics and insights on how to apply transformative politics when faced with a similar situation.
After sharing their experiences in small groups, participants compiled their reflections on how dominant political values; processes of governance and structures can be transformed.
Each group presented their output during the plenary session on the 3rd day of the congress.

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Dated: 23Oct2000