History of IWRAW Asia Pacific

'Promoting the Equality of Women: IWRAW Asia Pacific’s Journey' by Shanthi Dairiam

The story of IWRAW Asia Pacific and 30 years of working to advance women’s rights through the promise of CEDAW as told by IWRAW Asia Pacific’s founder Shanthi Dairiam.


Promoting the Equality of Women: IWRAW Asia Pacific's Journey by Shanthi Dairiam“IWRAW Asia Pacific’s vision at its inception was the fulfilment of equal rights for women, and its mission was to bring the critical voices of women to bear on international standard setting and influence policy formulation at the national level. This vision prevails up to this day.” – Shanthi Dairiam

Putting the past to the page, Shanthi reflects on her journey during IWRAW Asia Pacific’s founding years and provides insight into our development throughout three decades of evolving Global South feminist advocacy through engagement with CEDAW and the framework of substantive equality.

Interspersed with personal anecdotes, the book is a valuable resource which documents the early work of women’s human rights defenders in contributing to the foundational building blocks of the global women’s rights framework utilised around the world today.

From the conceptual clarity generated from CEDAW and the UN World Conferences to technical documents such as the CEDAW Compliance Framework, the book offers readers an honest glimpse into what being a feminist activist on a constant journey of learning, unlearning and relearning looks like. Shanthi breathes a newfound life into the phrase, “the personal is the political”, and what it means to reclaim international spaces dominated by Global North actors.

Promoting the Equality of Women: IWRAW Asia Pacific’s Journey‘ by Shanthi Dairiam is now available for sale! Please submit your orders through our order form. If you have any questions regarding your purchase, please contact us at iwraw-ap@iwraw-ap.org.

You can also access the digital copy here.


About the author

Mary Shanthi Dariam is a former Executive Director of IWRAW Asia Pacific and a founding member of the Board. She has had extensive experience managing women’s rights programmes, having been involved in capacity building for women’s rights advocacy for over 20 years, within Malaysia, as well as regionally and internationally. Shanthi has served as an expert assisting key UN agencies such as APGEN, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and UNIFEM (now known as UN Women). She holds a Masters in Literature from the University of Madras, India, and a Masters in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. From 2005 until 2008, she also served a four-year term as an expert member of the CEDAW Committee.


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