Around the world, social justice movements have exposed the pervasive extent of gender-based violence in the workplace. While women’s empowerment has long been a tenet of development aid, in practice, aid projects often impact social relations in complex ways and catalyse social violence by grouping and categorising people for aid distribution. Women are overwhelmingly affected by this process and often become the victims of work-related violence. In Cambodia, these dynamics are particularly acute, as gendered norms continue to prevail in many industries and exclude women from labour unions.
In this episode, Dr Kristy Ward chats with Professor Michele Ford about her research into conflict dynamics and the politics of representation, delving into the disruptive impact of development aid, and the ways in which women in Cambodia and India have sought to negotiate agency and combat gender-based violence in the workplace.
Kristy Ward is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Her research interests include labour activism, gender and organised labour, and the politics of aid with a particular focus on Cambodia. Kristy’s current research on worker agency and representation examines why, how and to what effect Cambodian workers mobilise collectively under comparative regulatory regimes. From 2013 to 2016 Kristy taught numerous subjects in the undergraduate and postgraduate Development Studies program at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where she also completed her PhD. Kristy has worked with various non-government organisations in evaluation, project development, and consultancy roles in both Australia and Southeast Asia.
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Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia.