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Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization? The Case of the Exiled Burmese Women's Movement


Olivius, Elisabeth, and Jenny Hedström. 2019. "Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization? The Case of the Exiled Burmese Women's Movement." Women's Studies International Forum 76.

Authors: Elisabeth Olivius, Jenny Hedström


Feminist scholars have convincingly demonstrated how militarism and nationalism rely on the (re)production of gendered hierarchies. As a result, feminism is often assumed to be at odds with these political projects. In this article, we demonstrate that this is not always and not necessarily the case: in contrast, militarized nationalism may even constitute fertile ground for the mobilization of feminist organization and activism. We make this argument drawing on an in-depth case study of the emergence and evolution of an exiled Burmese women's movement from within armed ethno-nationalist struggles in the borderlands of Myanmar. Drawing on interviews with women activists, we examine when and how militarized nationalism can provide a space from which feminist agendas can be articulated and successfully pursued. This case demonstrates that militarized nationalism does not only have the potential to mobilize women's participation, but can provide a platform for feminist organization and activism that transcends, challenges, and eventually reshapes militarized nationalist projects in ways that advance women's rights and equality. These findings call into question generalized assumptions about the conflictual relationship between feminism, militarism and nationalism, and contributes to advance feminist debates about women's mobilization in contexts of armed conflicts and nationalist struggles.

Keywords: feminism, militarism, nationalism, women's activism, Myanmar, armed conflict

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2019

Conceptualizing Gendered Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Contextual Conditions and Drivers of Change


Goodrich, Chanda Gurung, Pranita Bhushan Udas, and Harriet Larrington-Spencer. 2019. "Conceptualizing Gendered Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Contextual Conditions and Drivers of Change." Environmental Development 31: 9-18.

Authors: Chanda Gurung Goodrich, Pranita Bhushan Udas, Harriet Larrington-Spencer


Not all women or all men are equally vulnerable. Manifestations of vulnerability to climate change vary in different groups of people, based on their position in a social and gender structure in a particular location and at a particular time. We need to understand the pre-existing conditions, what we term “contextual conditions” that underlie experiences of vulnerability and lead to its complexity and reproduction. This paper is based on a literature review and takes the standpoint that not only is gender a powerful and pervasive contextual condition, but that it intersects with other contextual conditions to shape vulnerabilities. Further, gender and other contextual conditions also influence and are influenced by socioeconomic drivers of change to produce differential gendered vulnerabilities. Therefore, manifestations of gendered vulnerability to climate change are the result of complex and interlinked factors, which cannot be simplified for the sake of efficiency. This paper offers a conceptual framework bringing together these interlinkages and intersectionalities in understanding differential gendered vulnerabilities.

Keywords: climate change, gender, Hindu Kush Himalaya, vulnerabilities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan

Year: 2019

From Expert to Experiential Knowledge: Exploring the Inclusion of Local Experiences in Understanding Violence in Conflict


Julian, Rachel, Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, and Robin Redhead. 2019. “From Expert to Experiential Knowledge: Exploring the Inclusion of Local Experiences in Understanding Violence in Conflict.” Peacebuilding 7 (2): 210–25.

Authors: Rachel Julian, Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Robin Redhead


Critical peace and conflict scholars argue that to understand fully conflict dynamics and possibilities for peace research should incorporate ‘the local’. Yet this important conceptual shift is bound by western concepts, while empirical explorations of ‘the local’ privilege outside experts over mechanisms for inclusion. This article explores how an epistemology drawing on feminist approaches to conflict analysis can help to redirect the focus from expert to experiential knowledge, thereby also demonstrating the limits of expert knowledge production on ‘the local’. In order to illustrate our arguments and suggest concrete methods of putting them into research practice, we draw on experiences of the ‘Raising Silent Voices’ project in Myanmar, which relied on feminist and arts-based methods to explore the experiential knowledge of ordinary people living amidst violent conflict in Rakhine and Kachin states.

Keywords: feminism, local knowledge, experiential knowledge, conflict analysis, arts-based methods, violent conflict

Topics: Conflict, Feminisms, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2019

Political Change, Women’s Rights, and Public Opinion on Gender Equality in Myanmar


Htun, Mala, and Francesca R. Jensenius. 2020. "Political Change, Women’s Rights, and Public Opinion on Gender Equality in Myanmar." The European Journal of Development Research 32: 457-81. doi: 10.1057/s41287-020-00266-z.



Authors: Mala Htun, Francesca R. Jensenius


Myanmar’s introduction of competitive elections after decades of military rule raised expectations for progress in economic and social development, including in the area of women’s rights. In this paper, we draw on data from two national surveys, fieldwork, and existing qualitative studies to explore public opinion on women’s rights and gender equality. Do Burmese people support gender equality? How are their views on gender related to other aspects of political culture, such as traditional values and views toward authoritarianism and democracy? Our objective is to gain better understanding of the opportunities and obstacles to egalitarian social change and democratic consolidation. Our analysis of survey data reveals that attitudes toward gender roles are conservative, traditional and anti-democratic beliefs are widespread, and these views are strongly associated. Our findings imply that tendencies in public opinion provide a resource for Burmese nationalist groups and politicians and an obstacle to activists seeking greater alignment with global norms on gender equality.


Keywords: Myanmar, women's rights, public opinion, political culture, gender equality, nationalism




Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Nationalism, Political Participation Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2020

The Case for Transformative Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Rakhine State at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights


Bradley, Samantha. 2019. "The Case for Transformative Reparations for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Rakhine State at the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights." Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 20 (2): 181-226.

Author: Samantha Bradley


This article addresses the question of whether Rohingya victims of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in Rakhine State in 2017 have recourse to transformative reparations at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). CRSV was widespread during the August 2017 non-international armed conflict in Rakhine State. CRSV also occurred in the context of longstanding subjugation of the Rohingya minority by the Government of Myanmar and Myanmar’s security forces perpetrating sexual violence against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities. Transformative reparations for CRSV are reparations intended to engender structural changes to improve victims’ circumstances and guarantee non-recurrence. An evaluation of ASEAN’s human rights frameworks and the mandate, purposes and principles underpinning the AICHR, reveals unexplored potential for transformative reparations for CRSV at the AICHR for Rohingya victims of CRSV in Rakhine State in 2017. The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance is well placed to coordinate the delivery of transformative reparations in Myanmar.

Keywords: conflict-related sexual violence, reparations, transformative reparations, ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Justice, Reparations, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2019

Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: Between Feminism and Ethnopolitics


Kolås, Åshild. 2020. Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: between Feminism and Ethnopolitics. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Author: Åshild Kolås


Table of Contents:
Introduction: Women, Peace and Security in Myanmar: The Map and the Terrain
Ashild Kolas

1. UNSCR 1325 in Myanmar: Women's Rights, Peace and Security in Times of Transition
Camilla Buzzi

2. Women in the Myanmar Peace Process: The 30-Percent Target
Debendra Prasad Adhikari

3. Women-to-Women Diplomacy and the Women's League of Burma
Magda Lorena Cardenas

4. No Peace in a Ceasefire: Women's Agency for Peace in the Kachin Conflict
Marte Nilsen

5. Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding: Views from Mon Rural Communities
Myint Myint Mon

6. Women Survivor’s Experiences of War and Perspectives on Peace in Myanmar
S. Hkawng Naw

7. Women in Myanmar’s Ethnic Armed Organizations: Numbers and Narratives
Åshild Kolås and Leitanthem Umakanta Meitei

8. Women’s ‘Marginal Voices’: Diverse Perspectives on Peace and Security in Myanmar
Elena Di Padova

This book describes women's efforts as agents for change in Myanmar and examines the potential of the peace process as an opportunity for women's empowerment. Following decades of political turbulence, the volume describes the contributions of women to contemporary Burmese politics and reflects on the significance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the context of Myanmar. The book examines how women have mobilized for peace, while addressing women's participation in the conflict, and investigates the perspectives and aims of women's organizations, and the challenges and aspirations of women activists in Myanmar's ethnic areas. Contributions in the volume discuss and critically assess the argument that war and peacebuilding adds momentum to the transformation of gender roles. By presenting new knowledge on women's disempowerment and empowerment in conflict, and their participation in peacebuilding, this book adds important insights into the debate on gender and political change in societies affected by conflict. This book will be of interest to students of peace and conflict studies, gender studies and security studies in general.

Topics: Conflict, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2020

Challenges to Women's Inclusion in Peace Processes in Thailand and Myanmar


Buranajaroenkij, Duanghathai. 2020. "Challenges to Women's Inclusion in Peace Processes in Thailand and Myanmar." International Feminist Journal of Politics. doi: 10.1080/14616742.2019.1698973.

Author: Duanghathai Buranajaroenkij


This article discusses the challenges that women face in their attempts to engage with peace processes. It first reviews the existing literature and then provides an analysis based on in-depth interviews with women members of peace networks in Thailand and in Myanmar and key stakeholders with relevant knowledge. The findings highlight the challenges that women's networks face in both countries: (1) the challenge of getting a seat at the table in the peace processes where women are increasingly visible in peace-building activism yet still lack power to influence formal frameworks; (2) the challenge of getting representation and the support of various local communities; and finally, (3) the challenge of getting the message right in terms of balancing gender advocacy with peace building in a context where gender advocacy is perceived as disrupting social relations. These key findings suggest that, to be effective, women's peace networks have to find the right balance between gender advocacy and addressing these key challenges. The article ends with a set of recommendations aimed at strengthening the impact of women's peace networks.
บทความนี้อภิปรายถึงความท้าทายที่เกิดขึ้นเมื่อผู้หญิงพยายามเข้าสู่การมีส่วนร่วมในกระบวนการสันติภาพ โดยเริ่มจากการสำรวจวรรณกรรมและนาเสนอผลการวิเคราะห์ที่ได้จากการสัมภาษณ์เชิงลึกกับผู้หญิงที่เป็นสมาชิกขบวนการสันติภาพในประเทศไทยและเมียนมา รวมทั้งสัมภาษณ์ผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้อง ซึ่งพบว่าเครือข่ายผู้หญิงทั้งสองประเทศต่างก็ต้องเผชิญกับความท้าทายในสามด้าน ได้แก่ (1) ความท้าทายที่จะได้มีส่วนร่วมในกระบวนการพูดคุย บทบาทของผู้หญิงเป็นที่ประจักษ์แต่ก็ยังไม่มีอำนาจที่จะส่งผลต่อการพูดคุยที่เป็นทางการ (2) ความท้าทายในการเป็นตัวแทนและการสนับสนุนจากชุมชนในท้องถิ่น และสุดท้าย (3) ความท้าทายที่จะสื่อสารสิ่งที่ต้องการ ให้เกิดสมดุลระหว่างการสร้างความตระหนักรู้เรื่องเพศสภาพกับการสร้างสันติภาพ ในบริบทที่การรณรงค์เรื่องเพศสภาพอาจถูกมองว่าบ่อนทำลายความสัมพันธ์ทางสังคม ผลการวิจัยชี้ให้เห็นว่าเพื่อให้เกิดประสิทธิผลยิ่งขึ้นเครือข่ายผู้หญิงจำเป็นต้องค้นหาหนทางที่จะรณรงค์เรื่องเพศสภาพอย่างสมดุล พร้อมไปกับการจัดการความท้าทายที่สาคัญเหล่านี้ สุดท้ายบทความนี้มีข้อเสนอเพื่อทำให้งานของเครือข่ายผู้หญิงทวีผลยิ่งขึ้น

Keywords: peace process, women's participation, gender, Myanmar, Thailand, ประเทศไทย, เมียนมา, เพศสภาพ, การมีส่วนร่วมของผู้หญิง, กระบวนการสันติภาพ

Topics: Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar, Thailand

Year: 2020

An Exploration of Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Myanmar in the Context of Political Transition: Findings from a Qualitative Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment


Tanabe, Mihoko, Alison Greer, Jennifer Leigh, Payal Modi, William W. Davis, Pue Pue Mhote, Conrad M. Otterness Jr., and Parveen Parmar. 2019. "An Exploration of Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Myanmar in the Context of Political Transition: Findings from a Qualitative Sexual and Reproductive Health Assessment." Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters 27 (2): 112-25.

Authors: Mihoko Tanabe, Alison Greer, Jennifer Leigh, Payal Modi, William W. Davis, Pue Pue Mhote, Eh May Htoo, Conrad M. Otterness Jr. , Parveen Parmar


In March 2011, the Myanmar Government transitioned to a nominally civilian parliamentary government, resulting in dramatic increases in international investments and tenuous peace in some regions. In March 2015, Community Partners International, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and four community-based organisations (CBOs) assessed community-based sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in eastern Myanmar amidst the changing political contexts in Myanmar and Thailand. The team conducted 12 focus group discussions among women of reproductive age (18–49 years) with children under five and interviewed 12 health workers in Kayin State, Myanmar. In Mae Sot and Chiang Mai, Thailand, the team interviewed 20 representatives of CBOs serving the border regions. Findings are presented through the socioecological lens to explore gender-based violence (GBV) specifically, to examine continued and emerging issues in the context of the political transition. Cited GBV includes ongoing sexual violence/rape by the military and in the community, trafficking, intimate partner violence, and early marriage. Despite the political transition, women continue to be at risk for military sexual violence, are caught in the burgeoning economic push–pull drivers, and experience ongoing restrictive gender norms, with limited access to SRH services. There is much fluidity, along with many connections and interactions among the contributing variables at all levels of the socioecological model; based on a multisectoral response, continued support for innovative, community-based SRH services that include medical and psychosocial care are imperative for ethnic minority women to gain more agency to freely exercise their SR rights.

Keywords: conflict, Intimate partner violence, sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health, Trafficking, early marriage, gender-based violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Sexual Violence, Rape, Trafficking Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar, Thailand

Year: 2019

Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325


Shekhawat, Seema, ed. 2018. Gender, Conflict, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Author: Seema Shekhawat


"There is an increasing amount of literature on various aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. While appreciating this scholarship, this volume highlights some of the omissions and concerns to make a quality addition to the ongoing discourse on the intersection of gender with peace and security with a focus on 1325. It aims at a reality-check of the impressive to-dos list as the seventeen years since the Resolution passed provide an occasion to pause and ponder over the gap between the aspirations and the reality, the ideal and the practice, the promises and the action, the euphoria and the despair. The volume compiles carefully selected essays woven around Resolution 1325 to tease out the intricacies within both the Resolution and its implementation. Through a cocktail of well-known and some lesser-known case studies, the volume addresses complicated realities with the intention of impacting policy-making and the academic fields of gender, peace, and security. The volume emphasizes the significance of transforming formal peace making processes, and making them gender inclusive and gender sensitive by critically examining some omissions in the challenges that the Resolution implementation confronts. The major question the volume seeks to address is this: where are women positioned in the formal peace-making seventeen years after the adoption of Resolution 1325?" (Shekhawat 2018)

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Gender, Peace, and UNSC Resolution 1325
Seema Shekhawat

1. Redefining Women’s Roles in Internationl and Regional Law: The Case of Pre- and Post-War Peacebuilding in Liberia
Veronica Fynn Bruey

2. The Contribution of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325
Antal Berkes

3. Faith Matters in Women, Peace, and Security Practices
Elisabeth Porter

4. Creating or Improving a National Action Plan Based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Jan Marie Fritz

5. Widowhood Issues for Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Subsequent Resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security
Margaret Owen

6. The Commodification of Intervention: The Example of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Corey Barr

7. Beyond Borders and Binaries: A Feminist Look at Preventing Violence and Achieving Peace in an Era of Mass Migration
Aurora E. Bewicke

8. The Disconnection between Theory and Practice: Achieving Item 8b of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
Onyinyechukwu Onyido

9. Gender and Feminism in the Israeli Peace Movement: Beyond UNSCR 1325
Amanda Bennett

10. Conflict Ghosts: The Significance of UN Resolution 1325 for the Syrian Women in Years of Conflict
Emanuela C. Del Re

11. The UNSC Resolution 1325 and Cypriot Women’s Activism: Achievements and Challenges
Maria Hadjipavlou and Olga Demetriou

12. Victims, Nationalists, and Supporters: UNSCR 1325 and the Roles of Ethnic Women’s Organizations in Peacebuilding in Burma/Myanmar
Mollie Pepper

13. Gender and the Building Up of Many “Peaces”: A Decolonial Perspective from Colombia
Priscyll Anctil Avoine, Yuly Andrea Mejia Jerez, and Rachel Tillman

14. “It’s All About Patriarchy”: UNSCR 1325, Cultural Constrains, and Women in Kashmir
Seema Shekhawat

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Displacement & Migration, Feminisms, Gender, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Religion, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, West Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Colombia, Cyprus, India, Israel, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria

Year: 2018

The Praxis of Access: Gender in Myanmar’s National Land Use Policy


Faxon, Hilary Oliva. 2015. “The Praxis of Access: Gender in Myanmar’s National Land Use Policy.” Paper presented at the Conference on Land Grabbing, Conflict and Agrarian‐Environmental Transformations: Perspectives from East and Southeast Asia, Chaing Mai University, June 5-6. 

Author: Hilary Olivia Faxon


In Myanmar, heated struggles around land grabs, acquisition, and formalization fail to acknowledge the complexity and heterogeneity of existing land relations. Gender dynamics are key to shaping these systems, and have been neglected in current research and policy. This paper examines women’s access to land and the emergence of gender discourse in land policy debates through a participant ethnography of the National Land Use Policy consultation process. I explore both ways in which land access is lived by rural women, and feminist contributions to land-based social movements. Attention to the differentiated yet interlinked spheres of the household, customary law, and land formalization enhances understanding of land politics, and women’s presence, gender concerns, and the nascent common identity of the pan-Myanmar women can catalyze effective advocacy for just land reform in Myanmar.

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Households, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2015


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