EU-ASEAN Perspectives Dialogue III

The EU-ASEAN Perspectives dialogue (EUAP) is the young voice in the interregional policy debate between Europe and Southeast Asia. In 2016, IFAIR hosted the third edition of the successful project, which brings together students and young professionals from Europe and Southeast Asia in online and offline formats to discuss current issues in interregional affairs. The theme of EUAP III was: “Gender Equality – Progress and Challenges from an Interregional EU-ASEAN Perspective”.

EUAP III participants

EUAP III brought together 20 students and young professionals – 10 from Europe, 10 from Southeast Asia – to discuss the topic of gender equality in interregional affairs. Find out more about the participants and what they say about gender issues in their personal experience and their motivations to participate in the dialogue:

Arliska Fatma Rosi (Indonesia) – US ASEAN Business Council and Paramadina University

“The conference will give me the opportunity to learn from the best practices and multi-layer collaboration, in order to strengthen the community-based informal education empowerment movement.”

Bianca Christina Perina (Austria) – University of London

“I am convinced that women’s training and awareness raising in the area of networking, especially among women, has to come to the forefront of ever to compete with the still dominating ‚Old Boy Networks‘ in every work area.”

Elena Moreno (Spain) – College of Europe

“Gender equality is a common concern and all countries must reiterate their support for the global implementation of the 2030 Agenda, particularly with regards to SDG 5 (gender equality) and with special attention to one of the most prevalent human rights violations: gender-based violence.”

Fang Hui Lim (Malaysia) – University of Leeds

“I would like to know more about the dynamic between Gender Equality and Culture in order to understand the correlation between the two.”

Filip Henryk Bartkowiak (Poland) – Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin and University of Potsdam

“The gender dimension is becoming more and more important in sustainable development and the cooperation between the EU and ASEAN is needed to secure the objectives and set realistic goals.”

François Pravongviengkham (France) – College of Europe Natolin

“What I recommend as result of my policy-analysis is a so called ‘European Pivot’, where human rights and non-traditional security issues and gender equality issues serve as incentives for domestic reforms in ASEAN countries.”

Henry Abbink (Netherlands) – Leiden University

“I believe that gender inequality seriously affects the economic, political and social development of many countries all over the world, and that these harmful consequences could in many cases be resolved by comprehensive policy solutions.”

Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh (Germany) – Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin and Potsdam University

“Sexualised violence is too often seen as only a private matter – a public debate is often unconsidered, yet significant, in order to comprehend power structures that affect the entire society.”

Hui Ying Lee (Singapore) – National University of Singapore

“I am often frustrated with my limited ability to convince women to set higher aims for themselves, and also the subtle gendered lenses which influence hiring decisions.”

Huyen–Anh Dang (Vietnam) – Start-up entrepreneur

“Feminism does not go against men, but it is a necessary movement to improve the rights of both men and women, through mutual understanding of and support between both genders.”

Kent Tangcalagan (Philippines) – Chemonics International

“I would greatly appreciate the opportunity not only to be able to share my personal and professional engagement on gender, but also learn from the experts and my peers.”

Marisna Yulianti (Indonesia) – Millennium Challenge Account

“I think the issues of redefining masculinity and men’s involvement should be further explored and included in various discussions as an integral part of gender equality.”

Olivia Geymond (France) – Young Women’s Christian Association of Myanmar

“Unequal economic opportunities critically hamper women’s ability to lift themselves from poverty and improve their living conditions and those of their communities.”

Ratha Pen (Cambodia) – Cooperation for Social Services and Development

“The disparities that result from biological, structural, and cultural conditions, as well as stigma and discrimination that affect men, women, and transgender people differently impede access to resources that can prevent and mitigate HIV.“

Serena Sorrenti (Italy) – Lund University

“The question of refugees, and its gender dimension in particular, constitute the focus of my studies and personal interest.”

Sinet Seap (Cambodia) – Australia Award holder

“The Cambodian people need to learn and exchange with people from other countries to inspire our youth to action for change.”

Sophie Veauthier (Germany) – University of Tübingen

“While top-down policies and high profile examples are relevant, with women still being underrepresented everywhere – from political party membership to the professional ranks in academia – bottom-up policies are also much required.”

Surendra Ananth (Malaysia) – Messrs Malik Imtiaz Sawar

“The cultural entrenchment of religious views as a direct impact on the participation of women in the economic and political sphere.”

Tereza Grünvaldová (Czech Republic) – People in Need

“A lack of confidence to contribute to public decision-making prevents many women from trying to take on leadership roles.”

Thi Hien Ngyuen (Vietnam) – Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs

“We need to put an emphasis on shifting people’s gender beliefs towards egalitarianism or taking both practical interventions and communication to change people’s social and cultural norms.”

Phase 1: The online conference

EUAP III is an extensive dialogue between 20 students, young researchers and practitioners from 14 different European and Southeast Asian countries, which aims to explore common ground for an agenda to push forward on gender equality in the two regions from a youth perspective. The project consists of an online and an offline phase. For the first stage, taking place from 30 July to 7 August 2016, the participants met online for a series of plenary and workshop sessions.
The participants were greeted by remarks from H.E. Dr. Franz Jessen, Ambassador of the EU to the Philippines (read the speech here). They then discussed gender equality problems and brainstormed on solutions, both in small breakout groups and in plenary sessions. Topics covered ranged from gender-sensitive early education to female entrepreneurship and the participation of youth in decision-making on equality concerns. The workshops were designed to capture not only the academic and policy debate, but also personal experiences of our young participants. During the formulation of their policy recommendations for the EU and ASEAN, the young participants were assisted by a number of experienced expert advisors. You can view the presentations by the four breakout groups below:

A more detailed account of the online conference can be found in this article on the IFAIR blog.

List of expert advisors

27e0ae4 Anne van Nistelrooij is Policy Officer in the gender equality unit of the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. There, she works on the priorities set out in the Strategic Engagement for gender equality 2016-2019, including labour market participation, pay and equal economic independence, equality in decision-making, combating gender-based violence and protecting and supporting victims, and promoting gender equality and women’s rights worldwide.

Erna Dr. Erna Surjadi is Founder and Director of Gender Harmony Foundation, Indonesia, which conducts research, trainings and consultations on gender-related issues, such as prevention of violence against women and girls, gender empowerment against poverty, health. Prior to that, Dr. Surjadi was, among others, Head of Division of Gender Mainstreaming at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection of the Republic of Indonesia and Regional Adviser (South East Asia) for Gender for Women and Health at the World Health Organisation.

Luis_large Luis J. Consuegra is the Programme Officer for Partnership Development, Prospection and Inter-Regional Dialogue, at International IDEA in Stockholm, Sweden. He coordinates the overall activities implemented in the framework of the Inter-Regional Resource Centre, and is the focal point for resource mobilization in Latin America at the Department of External Relation and Governance Support. Prior to working at International IDEA, Luis worked at the Organization of American States (OAS), at the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Universidad del Norte in Colombia.

Elena Javier Ma. Elena C. Javier, Ph.D. is a community development, gender and inclusion specialist experienced in working on R&D issues affecting women, indigenous peoples, sustainable natural resources/forestry management, poverty alleviation, health and participatory approaches. She is an associate professorial lecturer and research fellow at De La Salle University in Manila.

Noraida_large Noraida Endut is the Director and an Associate Professor of the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Noraida is a Council Member of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS) and a Director of the Board of the International Women’s Rights Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP). She is also a project partner and the Regional Consultant (Asia Pacific) for the Due Diligence Project on Violence Against Women (, a project of the International Human Rights Initiative Inc.

Phase 2: The live event

The results of the dialogue have been published as Volume 3 of IFAIR’s EU-ASEAN Perspectives Policy Papers Series. The EUAP III participants came together with political actors and civil-society stakeholders to discuss their findings and suggestions in the course of a three-day delegation visit to Brussels from 14 to 16 November. A report on the main events in Brussels – the EUAP Citizen Café and a high-level panel discussion – can be found here. A second delegation attended the Regional Consultation on Gender Equality and the Political Empowerment of Women on the sidelines of the Bali Forum on Democracy in December 2016. Read the report by EUAP III participant Hui Ying Lee for more information.

Our partners

EUAP III is conducted by IFAIR in partnership with: The German Federal Foreign Office is supporting the 3rd EU-ASEAN Perspectives Dialogue. It provided financing for the degelation programme in November, which allowed IFAIR to bring 13 project participants to Brussels for three days. The Foreign Office also funds the printing of the policy paper. The European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) is a leading Think and Do Tank based in Brussels and Luxembourg, the twin capitals of the European Union, focusing on EU-Asia relations. It is a policy research centre which aims to promote understanding between the European Union and Asia. EIAS has supported IFAIR as a project partner since the second edition of EUAP in 2015. The Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA) is the first autonomous research centre with a research focus on women’s and gender issues Malaysia, located at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). It not only aims to explore and investigate the social world in an academic manner but also to use and transfer the knowledge from the research findings for the purpose of advocating for the needs of women and the marginalized.

Current Status:

Read Hui Ying Lee’s impressions from the Bali Consultations on Gender Equality.

EU-ASEAN Perspectives

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EU-ASEAN Perspectives Dialogue II

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EU-ASEAN Perspectives Dialogue I

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The dialogue is conducted under the patronage of H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee and Helga Schmid.
VONGTHEP H.E. Vongthep is Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. At the ASEAN Secretariat, DSG Vongthep has a key role in managing relations with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and the International community, as well as in supporting the implementation the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint.

Helga_Maria_Schmid Helga Schmid is Secretary-General of the European External Action Service.

How can I contribute?

Students and young researchers who are willing to actively contribute to developing our idea are welcome to join the Impact Group. If you have questions or ideas for future projects, feel free to contact us!