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Introducing the Gender Equality in Asian Studies Group

By Denise Ho, Margaret Mih Tillman, Brigid Vance, and Shellen Wu One woman nearly broke down in tears as she described her travails attending a previous Association for Asian Studies conference as a new mother. At the time, AAS provided no nursing facilities during the annual conference. She could not find a place to pump in the conference space and in desperation had to track down and borrow a friend’s hotel room. Others had stories of their experiences doing research in Asia (where they were frequently asked, “Who is taking care of your husband!?”) and the difficulties women in particular encounter in doing fieldwork. Someone else mentioned the frustrations and lack of mentorship that come with working in departments of mostly older men. The outpouring of stories was a wake-up call and made us realize the real need for an advocacy group and network for women in Asian Studies. We hope to not only provide a forum to share our experiences and advice, but also to create a platform to push for ...

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