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Myanmar

Securing Meaningful Life: Women’s Work and Land Rights in Rural Myanmar

Citation:

Faxon, Hilary. 2020. “Securing Meaningful Life: Women’s Work and Land Rights in Rural Myanmar.” Journal of Rural Studies 76: 76–84. 

Author: Hilary Faxon

Annotation:

Summary:
"It is in this context that I draw on data from a participatory photography project and a household survey to examine rural women's own accounts of daily life on the land, as well as evidence that they are excluded from new land reforms. I show how women's work sustains their families and communities and argue that the women's exclusion from land governance is especially problematic in an era in which their labor produces an increasing share of land's value. I build on scholarship of agrarian change to argue for a feminist approach to theorizing land rights that starts from social reproduction and asserts that the normative aim of land reform should be to secure meaningful life. Such an approach transcends a focus on statutory or customary rights or even broader notions of access, centering the ability to reproduce oneself and one's family through cultivation, care, and community engagement. I demonstrate that studying these processes benefits from epistemic flexibility and mixed methods inquiry capable of interrogating both gendered land tenure and everyday practices of land use in ethnically and agriculturally diverse communities, and suggest that realizing this project in practice will require changing the aims and assumptions of scholarly and policy debates on land reform."
 
"This article continues with a conceptual framing before introducing the study's context and methodology. I then turn to the everyday processes of making meaningful life, analyzing rural women's own photographic accounts to highlight the ways in which women's productive and care work sustains families and communities materially and socially. Next, I turn to the question of securing rights, assessing both household survey and photographic data to ask how changing systems of formal land rights are reshaping women's abilities to hold onto land. Finally, I discuss the implications of these findings for understanding land reform and smallholder persistence"(Faxon 2020, 77).

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2020

An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar

Citation:

Louis, Elizabeth, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, & Naw Dah Htee. 2018. “An Assessment of Land Tenure Regimes and Women’s Land Rights in Two Regions of Myanmar.” Paper prepared for the 2018 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, The World Bank, Washington D.C., March 19-23.

Authors: Elizabeth Louis, Laura Eshbach, Beth Roberts, Naw Dah Htee

Abstract:

While formal laws and some customary systems in Myanmar recognize the equality of women’s rights within households, evidence suggests a complex picture in which the bundle of rights enjoyed by the male members of a household may not be equally available to women, a picture complicated by the context of Myanmar, with its variations in regional ethnic geopolitics fueled by landlessness, migration, conflict, and displacement. This paper reports on findings of two qualitative gender assessment case studies conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Bago and Tanintharyi regions of Myanmar to contribute to evidence on women’s land rights in Myanmar and help bridge the gaps in knowledge on 1) how women in Myanmar experience their bundle of rights to land: 2) what legal, social, economic, and cultural constraints women face; and 3) what mechanisms can be put in place to take into consideration these constraints as women access their land rights.

Keywords: Customary tenure, gender-responsive framework, Myanmar, qualitative assessment, women's land rights

Topics: Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Land Tenure, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar

Year: 2018

Indigenous Perspectives on Gender, Power and Climate-Related Displacement

Citation:

Pentlow, Sarah. 2020. "Indigenous Perspectives on Gender, Power and Climate-Related Displacement." Forced Migration Review 64: 28-31.

 

Author: Sarah Pentlow

Abstract:

The impacts of climate change are most severely felt by those who live closest to their natural habitats. Indigenous Peoples in the Greater Mekong subregion of Southeast Asia are facing threats to their livelihoods and traditional ways of life and are being forced to migrate as an adaptation strategy. Within these communities, women bear the brunt of the work to adapt as they, culturally, are responsible for the food supply and livestock care. In this context, the Climate Smart Women initiative undertook village-level field research in selected Indigenous communities in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to understand the gendered impacts of climate change at a community level and how communities are responding. Pre-existing inequalities are exacerbated by climate change, resulting in differentiated vulnerabilities.

 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

Year: 2020

Gender-Based Vulnerability: Combining Pareto Ranking and Spatial Statistics to Model Gender-Based Vulnerability in Rohingya Refugee Settlements in Bangladesh

Citation:

Nelson, Erica L., Daniela Reyes Saade, and P. Gregg Greenough. 2020. “Gender-Based Vulnerability: Combining Pareto Ranking and Spatial Statistics to Model Gender-Based Vulnerability in Rohingya Refugee Settlements in Bangladesh.” International Journal of Health Geographics 19 (1): 1–14.

Authors: Erica L. Nelson, Daniela Reyes Saade, P. Gregg Greenough

Abstract:

Background: The Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh continues to outstrip humanitarian resources and undermine the health and security of over 900,000 people. Spatial, sector-specific information is required to better understand the needs of vulnerable populations, such as women and girls, and to target interventions with improved efficiency and effectiveness. This study aimed to create a gender-based vulnerability index and explore the geospatial and thematic variations in gender-based vulnerability of Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh by utilizing preexisting, open source data.

Methods: Data sources included remotely-sensed REACH data on humanitarian infrastructure, United Nations Population Fund resource availability data, and the Needs and Population Monitoring Survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration in October 2017. Data gaps were addressed through probabilistic interpolation. A vulnerability index was designed through a process of literature review, variable selection and thematic grouping, normalization, and scorecard creation, and Pareto ranking was employed to rank sites based on vulnerability scoring. Spatial autocorrelation of vulnerability was analyzed with the Global and Anselin Local Moran’s I applied to both combined vulnerability index rank and disaggregated thematic ranking.

Results: Of the settlements, 24.1% were ranked as ‘most vulnerable,’ with 30 highly vulnerable clusters identified predominantly in the northwest region of metropolitan Cox’s Bazar. Five settlements in Dhokkin, Somitapara, and Pahartoli were categorized as less vulnerable outliers amongst highly vulnerable neighboring sites. Security- and health-related variables appear to be the most significant drivers of gender-specific vulnerability in Cox’s Bazar. Clusters of low security and education vulnerability measures are shown near Kutupalong.

Conclusion: The humanitarian sector produces tremendous amounts of data that can be analyzed with spatial statistics to improve research targeting and programmatic intervention. The critical utilization of these data and the validation of vulnerability indexes are required to improve the international response to the global refugee crisis. This study presents a novel methodology that can be utilized to not only spatially characterize gender-based vulnerability in refugee populations, but can also be calibrated to identify and serve other vulnerable populations during crises.

Keywords: Rohingya, refugees, gender, open-source data, vulnerability index, spatial analysis, GIS, Pareto ranking, spatial autocorrelation

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Myanmar

Year: 2020

Adolescents’ Perceptions and Experiences of Pregnancy in Refugee and Migrant Communities on the Thailand-Myanmar Border: A Qualitative Study

Citation:

Asnong, Carine, Gracia Fellmeth, Emma Plugge, Nan San Wai, Mupawjay Pimanpanarak, Moo Kho Paw, Prakaykaew Charunwatthana, Nosten François, and Rose McGready. 2018. “Adolescents’ Perceptions and Experiences of Pregnancy in Refugee and Migrant Communities on the Thailand-Myanmar Border: A Qualitative Study.” Reproductive Health 15 (1): 1–13. 

Authors: Carine Asnong, Gracia Fellmeth, Emma Plugge, Nan San Wai, Mupawjay Pimanpanarak, Moo Kho Paw, Prakaykaew Charunwatthana, Nosten François, Rose McGready

Abstract:

Background: Adolescent pregnancy remains a global health concern, contributing to 11% of all births worldwide and 23% of the overall burden of disease in girls aged 15–19 years. Premature motherhood can create a negative cycle of adverse health, economic and social outcomes for young women, their babies and families. Refugee and migrant adolescent girls might be particularly at risk due to poverty, poor education and health infrastructure, early marriage, limited access to contraception and traditional beliefs. This study aims to explore adolescents’ perceptions and experiences of pregnancy in refugee and migrant communities on the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Methods: In June 2016 qualitative data were collected in one refugee camp and one migrant clinic along the Thailand-Myanmar border by conducting 20 individual interviews with pregnant refugee and migrant adolescents and 4 focus group discussions with husbands, adolescent boys and non-pregnant girls and antenatal clinic staff. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify codes and themes emerging from the data.

Results: Study participants perceived adolescent pregnancy as a premature life event that could jeopardise their future. Important themes were premarital sex, forced marriage, lack of contraception, school dropout, fear of childbirth, financial insecurity, support structures and domestic violence. Supportive relationships with mothers, husbands and friends could turn this largely negative experience into a more positive one. The main underlying reasons for adolescent pregnancy were associated with traditional views and stigma on sexual and reproductive health issues, resulting in a knowledge gap on contraception and life skills necessary to negotiate sexual and reproductive choices, in particular for unmarried adolescents.

Conclusions: Adolescents perceive pregnancy as a challenging life event that can be addressed by developing comprehensive adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and education in refugee and migrant communities on the Thailand-Myanmar border. Creating a more tolerant and less stigmatising environment in these communities and their governing bodies will help to achieve this goal.

Keywords: adolescent pregnancy, Myanmar, migrant, Qualitative, refugee, sexual and reproductive health, contraception, Stigma, forced marriage, domestic violence

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Myanmar, Thailand

Year: 2018

Making Space for Women: Civil Society Organizations, Gender and Hydropower Development in the Mekong Region

Citation:

Lebel, Phimphakan, Louis Lebel, Darunee Singphonphrai, Chatta Duangsuwan, and Yishu Zhou. 2019. “Making Space for Women: Civil Society Organizations, Gender and Hydropower Development in the Mekong Region.” International Journal of Water Resources Development 35 (2): 305-25.

Authors: Phimphakan Lebel, Louis Lebel, Darunee Singphonphrai, Chatta Duangsuwan, Yishu Zhou

Abstract:

Large-scale hydropower development disrupts local livelihoods and resource access. Adverse impacts are often greater for women than men, but also large for children, the elderly, poorer households and ethnic minorities. Burdens of resettlement often fall disproportionately on already disadvantaged individuals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how international, national and local civil society organizations (CSOs) have addressed gender in hydropower development in the Mekong Region. Four CSO orientations are distinguished: communitarian, environmentalist, knowledge-based and feminist. Common activities of CSOs were to share information, to expand participation and to mobilize development. The extent to which these activities were promoted and appear to be making space for women depended on the types of CSOs and women and men targeted or otherwise involved. 

Keywords: civil society organizations, gender, hydropower, Mekong

Topics: Age, Youth, Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

Gender in Development Discourses of Civil Society Organisations and Mekong Hydropower Dams

Citation:

Lebel, Louis, Phimphakan Lebel, Kanokwan Manorom, and Zhou Yishu. 2019. “Gender in Development Discourses of Civil Society Organisations and Mekong Hydropower Dams.” Water Alternatives 12 (1): 192–220.

Authors: Louis Lebel, Phimphakan Lebel, Kanokwan Manorom, Zhou Yishu

Abstract:

'Gender in development' discourses are used to justify interventions into, or opposition to, projects and policies; they may also influence perceptions, practices, or key decisions. Four discursive threads are globally prominent: livelihoods and poverty; natural resources and the environment; rights-based; and managerial. Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been vocal in raising awareness about the adverse impacts of large-scale hydropower developments on the environment, on local livelihoods, and on vulnerable groups including women. This discourse analysis first examines how CSOs engaging in hydropower processes in the Mekong Region frame and use gender in development discourses, and then evaluates the potential of these discourses to empower both women and men. Documents authored by CSOs are examined in detail for how gender is represented, as are media reports on CSO activities, interview transcripts, and images. The findings underline how CSOs depend on discursive legitimacy for influence. Their discursive strategies depend on three factors: the organizations’ goals with respect to development, gender, and the environment; whether the situation is pre- or post-construction; and, on their relationships with the state, project developers and dam-affected communities. The implications of these strategies for empowerment are often not straightforward; inadvertent and indirect effects, positive and negative, are common. The findings of this study are of practical value to CSOs wishing to be more reflexive in their work and more responsive to how it is talked about, as it shows the ways that language and images may enhance or inadvertently work against efforts to empower women.

Keywords: civil society organisations, gender in development, discourse, representation, hydropower

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Environment, Gender, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam

Year: 2019

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

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