What is CITIGEN-Asia?

The Gender and Citizenship in the Information Society (CITIGEN) Asia research programme is an effort to study whether marginalised women benefit from the potential of digital spaces for a greater participation and engagement and its actualisation in strengthened active citizenship. The six projects of the programme seek to build the ground for the articulation of a theoretical framework, as well as of recommendations for appropriate policies and contemporary feminist practice.


Research Reports

Women's online participation and the transformation of citizenship - China Research Report

This study explores the dynamics of the emergence of multiple counter and alternative public spheres in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, two distinctive Chinese societies under the regimes of post-colonialism and authoritarianism. The research examines the uses of new media and technologies among different social agents - women's organisations and activists - in community building and campaigns for social justice. This research examines closely the appropriation of the Internet technology by women from different social positions. With attention to the political dynamics and structures, it attempts to reflect upon and re-strategise feminist practice in engaging with local politics through new media.

Read China's Research Report

Learn more about the project.


Empowering women leaders at the local level - India Research Report

The project 'Empowering Women Leaders at the Local Level: Translating Descriptive Representation to Substantive Representation through ICTs' explores the creation of a new technologically mediated ‘invented space’ for women’s empowerment for revitalising ‘invited spaces’ of governance and to enable their active civic and political engagement at the local level in Kerala, India. It seeks the possibility of building solidarity across differences among women through the creation of Gramamukya, a digital platform, as a ‘communication community’ within the emerging transnational public sphere.

Read India's Research Report.

Learn more about the project


Bringing the local and the intimate to the national and institutional - Philippines Research Report

This feminist action research project attempts to provide a platform, through an online magazine, for the experiences, needs, desires and analysis of marginalised women, men and youth in the Philippines, within the theme of sexual and reproductive health services and rights. The project aimed to influence lawmakers both directly and through public opinion by bringing forth stories and accounts of those community members most in need of sexual and reproductive health services and rights (SRHR), and that this increased voice and visibility could possibly lead into the passing of a reproductive health law.

Read Philippines's Research Report

Learn more about the project.


In Print

Gender and information society in Central America: Between the immediate and the strategic scenarios
Margarita Salas

The paper provides an overview of the feminist struggles and their engagement with ICTs, embedded in the political and economic realities of the Central American region. In particular, Margarita Salas focuses on struggles in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Through her paper, she examines the interaction between the global, national and the community contexts and studies the need for and the depth of engagement with ICTs required by feminist movements in the region.


Women and Virtual Citizenship? Gendered Experiences of Censorship and Surveillance
Heike Jensen

The piece attempts to unravel the relationships between nation state, citizenship and the public sphere, communication and privacy rights, sexuality and morality in the backdrop of the information society and gender frameworks. The theme will be tackled by focussing on two clusters of enquiry: (1) communication rights and censorship and (2) privacy and surveillance. This approach is meant to create a feminist inroad into the prevalent, gender-blind discussions of Internet governance and citizenship that lends itself to elaborations on different levels, from abstract and theoretical hypotheses to discussions of distinct local, embodied experiences.

Click here to read the paper.


Internet rights, netizen's sub-culture and gender perspectives during political transformation in Thailand
Supinya Klangnarong

The paper provides a snapshot of the current usage of ICTs in Thailand using gender aggregated data, followed by an account of the political resistance being built by Internet users or 'netizens' in order to counter government restriction and control over the freedom to access and express using online spaces. The paper explores the possibilities of new media spaces, typified by 'free culture', for discourse shaping in areas of not only civil and political rights but also gender justice. The paper ends with relevant policy recommendations.


Gender and citizenship in the information society: A perspective from Pakistan
Farida Shaheed

The paper explores the emerging information society context in Pakistan, analysing subjectivities in relation to the emerging digital ecologies. Farida begins with a brief overview of some of the key issues related to female citizenship. She then examines the breaching of the jealously guarded borders of the traditional private-public spheres through the radio, that influenced isolated women to support instead of oppose, the regressive Taliban agenda in Swat. The final section of the paper reflects on the opportunities afforded by social network media and digital technologies for those with access to reconfigure the meaning of citizenship, based on the experience of activism and humanitarian relief in Pakistan.

Digital activism and violence against women: Changing landscapes of feminism activism in Souther Africa

Desiree Lewis and Crystal Orderson

Desiree and Crystal focus on the local and national activism that enlist digital technology and confront violence against women as a site of innovative human rights struggles in the African region. The paper deals with feminist activism driven by electronic communications systems and hybridised forms, incorporating both traditional and new media. The study moves in-between the local, national and regional levels with the aim of teasing out the national and regional implications of local platforms and resistance.

Click here to read the paper.

The big deal about the network age: Political economy conversations from the CITIGEN Network
Anita Gurumurthy

This think piece builds on the insights from the work of CITIGEN. It brings together the conversations among the network of involved feminists through July 2010 to February 2012, to posit some key points of departure in feminist analyses, which could form tentative steps towards a feminist theory of change.

Click here to read the paper.