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Insights and Analysis

For International Women’s Day, Conversations with Some Remarkable Women

March 3, 2021

By John Rieger and Tracie Yang

In observance of International Women’s Day, on March 8, our hosts John Rieger and Tracie Yang celebrate some of the remarkable women we’ve met in the past year on the InAsia podcast.


Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba was a promising attorney climbing the professional ladder in New York City when she felt called to return to her homeland in the southern Philippines to work for peace. Today the activist and mother of two is the first-ever attorney general of the Bangasamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where she continues to navigate the precarious path to peace.

When Covid-19 first emerged in neighboring China, Mongolia’s quick lockdown kept the virus at bay, but it also battered the economy, and no one felt it more than Mongolia’s small businesswomen. Two of our program officers in Mongolia, Soomin Jun and Saranzaya Gerelt-Od, gave us this frontline account of the hardships facing these key economic players and how the Women’s Business Center in Ulaanbaatar helped them hang on.

And in September we traveled through rural Thailand with Arpaporn Winijkulchai, director of our Go Digital ASEAN project there, who took us on a visit to her old friend Lakela, a farmer who grows avocados in the remote countryside and is learning to sell them on Facebook.

Woman farmer poses with avocado tree

Lakela and her “Ping River” avocados

Enjoy our conversations with these remarkable women, and happy International Women’s Day.

— John Rieger and Tracie Yang



About our blog, InAsia

InAsia is a bi-weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of renowned experts, InAsia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

InAsia is posted and distributed every other Wednesday evening, Pacific Time. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].


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