To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Centre for Geopolitics presents an expert panel to discuss women’s representation and political participation in the Indo-Pacific. The panel will discuss the increasing number of female heads of state in recent decades and reflect upon factors that enable or prevent women from taking office in the region. The panel will consider if these female heads of state, or other high-ranking representatives, have substantively represented women in their constituencies. It will discuss regional patterns of female political participation and state leadership, and consider if there is any correlation between women’s presence in government and gender equality indicators societally.


Dr Sarah Liu is Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Her research broadly focuses on the cross-national comparison on gender and politics, specifically the ways in which contexts – women’s political representation, women’s movements, immigration, and COVID-19 – shapes the gender gaps in political opinion and behavior. Her works are cross-regional with a specific focus on Asia. She has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential scholars by Apolitical Foundation and as an Emerging Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She has also published in major political science and gender studies journals and appeared on international media, such as BBC World News and France 24.

Dr Sohela Nazneen is a Senior Fellow based at the Governance at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. At IDS, Dr Nazneen leads IDS’ Strategic Research Initiative areas on ‘Resisting backlash against gender equity, social justice and civic space,’ and is the convenor of IDS’ flagship MA programme on Gender and Development.  She is the political economy lead for the ESRC funded project ‘Sustaining Power: Women’s Struggles Against Contemporary Backlash in South Asia’ and co-ordinates the research in Bangladesh and Nepal.


Dr Lisa Vickers is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Geopolitics. Last year, Dr Vickers graduated with a PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD thesis focused on the Women’s Equality Party (WEP) and its struggle to utilise its standing as a political party to ensure that women’s interests are represented. Dr Vickers is also a Policy Fellow at BASIC where she works in the Risk Reduction Programme, applying a gendered lens to traditional, environmental, and human security issues.

This event will be followed by a drinks reception.



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