The creation and maintenance of an open, inclusive space for sharing and synergising around the key issues concerning women’s empowerment in diverse contexts.
Strengthening and sustaining women in their organisations and movements, beginning in Asia, to challenge and transform unjust power relations and structures which obstruct their full access to and enjoyment of their rights and entitlements.
IWE’s members include feminists, activists, intellectuals, and researchers, living and/or working in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Canada and USA. With their diverse specialisms, knowledge and experiences, they work with women in marginalised communities, women marginalised on basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, women migrant workers, women engaged in developing innovative empowerment strategies. At the same time, networks and various forms of working partnerships are initiated and maintained with strategic partners in selected regional and international fora, as well as with individuals active in and committed to work on women's empowement at international, regional and/ or local levels.
Secretariat in Hong Kong:
IWE maintains a small secretariat in Hong Kong. Daily decisions and work of the secretariat are currently supervised by an Executive Committee of five persons, and led by the Chairperson.
Administrative and Financial matters are coordinated by :
Seven Chan :
Seven is dedicated to combine artwork with social movement. She was one of the 5 winners in a T-shirt design competition held by “No Chain” (http://www.nochains.org/chan.htm) in 2010.
Chairperson Lin Chew, Singapore/Netherlands/Hong Kong
Lin Chew is a feminist human rights activist. For about 20 years (from the early 1980’s) Lin worked intensively on migrant and sex workers' issues, forced labour and slavery-like practices, in the Netherlands and globally. Most recently, she was involved in programmes (WEMC / WRRC) that support women's strategies to resist and overcome the negative impacts of cultures and religions on their rights. She has served for more than a decade on governance and advisory structures of local and international women’s funds (Her Fund / Global Fund for Women / Mama Cash). Lin is also mother, grandmother and potter.
Vice-President Braema Mathi, Singapore
Braema is an advocate for social justice. This has led her to become very involved in issues related to women, migrants and HIV. She has led AWARE,(Association of Women for Action and Research), founded and led TWC2, (Transient Workers Count Too), a migrants advocacy group and is presently the President of the regional organisation, MARUAH (Singapore Working Group for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism). As president of MARUAH she is the Singapore focal Point for the Women's Caucus in ASEAN. Braema is also the Regional President (Southeast Asia and Pacific) of the International Council of Social Welfare She is a consultant, trainer and researcher and is currently the Director of Research and Advocacy at AWARE. Braema has worked as a teacher, a journalist for The Singapore Straits Times and as a researcher with the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS) and served as a Nominated Member of Singapore’s Parliament.
Secretary Sadia Ahmed, Pakistan
Sadia is currently a Research Associate at Shirkat Gah, a women’s rights organization based in Lahore, Pakistan. Her areas of research include women’s empowerment and issues faced by women from religious minorities. She graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, in 2006 with a degree in Economics and minor in Development Studies. She is also the chairperson of the Zohra and ZZ Ahmed Foundation, a charity based in Pakistan that focuses on health, education and promoting literature, art and culture in the country.
Treasurer Mabel Au, Hong Kong
Mabel graduated with an MA degree for ‘Women & Development’ from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands. From 2001-2003, she worked for CAW (Committee for Asian Women (an Asian regional network of women workers' organization) in Bangkok, on the Campaign for an International Convention on the Informal Sector. Moving back to Hong Kong, Mabel worked for the Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO (World Trade Organisation), and was responsible for coordinating the major protests during the 5th WTO ministerial meeting. From 2007-2010, she worked for the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Feminism. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
Member Lucia Victor Jayaseelan, Malaysia / UK
Lucia is a labour and human rights lawyer and activist. She works with women, workers, trade unions and organisations in the industrial and plantation sectors; political detainees, refugees, migrants and on VAW in Malaysia, UK and globally through CAW (Committee for Asian Women).
Lucia is also a practitioner in various healing therapies and provides treatments and workshops to women workers and activists to sustain and develop personal health and that of their organizations.