Women in Asia: Tradition, Modernity and Globalisation

By Louise Edwards; Mina Roces | Go to book overview

6 Negotiating modernities:
Filipino women 1970-2000

Mina Roces

School of History
University of New South Wales

Pulling the trajectory of women's history in multiple, often contradictory directions, the twin impacts of globalisation and the various feminisms have, since 1970, been largely responsible for altering the status of women in the Philippines. The history of Filipino women in the later half of the twentieth century cannot be mapped using a linear, progressive, modernist or developmentalist paradigm where it is assumed that women's status is ever improving.Instead, the phenomenal changes that were introduced have blurred the lines between woman as victim and woman as agent, woman as mother and woman as worker, woman as object and woman as subject. In the three decades between 1970-2000, the Philippine political government itself experienced an extreme swing from an authoritarian regime ( 1972-86) to a democratic one ( 1986-99). How have women negotiated the choices thrust on them by the forces of modernity and post-modernity between 1970-2000?

This chapter suggests some answers to this question through a survey of women's engagement with the plethora of changes that altered their lives in the last three decades of the twentieth century. I argue that in

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