Sonia Randhawa

Writing Women: The Women’s Pages of the Malay-Language Press, 1987–1998′ (PhD in History, 2019).

This thesis investigates depictions of Malay-Muslim women in two Malay-language newspapers, contrasting the portrayals on the women’s pages with how women were depicted on the ‘malestream’ leader and religion pages. The period examined falls between two political storms, the Operasi Lallang (1987) and the Reformasi (1998). Malaysian journalists in the Malay-language press saw themselves as largely free, operating within parameters defined by Asian values and developmental discourse. Writers in the Malay-language press supported the government because they, like many Malaysians, felt the ruling coalition served the nation’s best interest. Yet, below this apparently monolithic surface, editors and journalists vied for resources and prestige. In this contest, I found that the women journalists of the women’s pages often saw themselves as pitted against the malestream editorial hierarchy and marginalised in relation to their colleagues.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Kate McGregor, Associate Professor Amanda Whiting