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, mainly for administrative and financial purposes.
IWE’s Programmes are implemented in different countries by local project teams and are centrally coordinated and managed by:
Lin Chew, Singapore/Netherlands/Hong Kong (Executive Director)
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 a potter, mother and grandmother.
While programmatic and organisational development strategies, activities and policies are decided by the Members during Annual General Meetings, daily implementation is supervised by an Executive Committee, consisting of :
Chairperson: 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.
Vice-Chairperson: Sri Marpinjun, Indonesia
Sri is an activist of women’s and children’s rights, and mostly working in equity in early childhood education for more than 15 years. She was co-founder and former executive director of LSPPA (the institute for women’s and children’s studies and development) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Currently she is also co-chairing Qualitative Research Methods Learning Group of Una (www.unaglobal.org) and active in Yogyakarta Inclusive Education Task Force.
Secretary: 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.
Treasurer : Phoebe So, Hong Kong
Phoebe is Executive Committee member of HER fund, local funds for women groups in Hong Kong. She worked for an action-research project - Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts, in Indonesia from 2007-2010, and Committee for Asian Women from 2010-2011.
Her areas of interest include women’s empowerment, sustainability and inter-generational learning of feminists, and issues concerning marginalised women groups. In her involvement in the Institute for Women's Empowerment, Amnesty International, and HER fund, She strives to support the empowerment of women workers, human rights defenders and young women, especially from marginalised groups, to advance or defend their own rights. Besides, she is interested in fostering the inter-generational learning and communication among feminists as it is essential to further advance women's movement. In IWE, she works together with several senior feminists in IWE to develop programmes on the security and well being of women activists, and on sustainable development of women’s movement.
She also spends many hours baking, practicing Reiki, hiking, and singing karaoke with friends.