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Thailand

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

The Negotiation of Women in Conflict Situations in the Deep South of Thailand

Citation:

Buranajaroenkij, Duanghathai. 2019. "The Negotiation of Women in Conflict Situations in the Deep South of Thailand." Social Science Asia 5 (3): 67-80.

Author: Duanghathai Buranajaroenkij

Abstract:

The violent conflict in the southern border provinces of Thailand has pushed women into the public sphere, either of necessity or voluntarily. However, women are not merely victims of conflict and violence but attempt to mitigate violence and resolve conflict in their communities. They are determined not only to protect their immediate families but also their society as a whole. The research question that motivates this study is what are the facilitating factors that enable women who live in conflict-prone areas to advance gender demands to engage with the peace process and to redress gender inequality although they do not have the authoritative power. This study draws on existing literature and in-depth interviews of 15 women peace activists and two male social activists. This study finds four facilitating factors that enable women to intervene in conflict and redress gender inequality: self-mobilization and visibility; knowledge and skills; outside influences; and the ability to strategize gender issues. Given limitations in power and the minor roles that women have on formal peacebuilding and political platforms, these assets make it possible for women’s groups to leverage social change toward gender equality. 

Keywords: gender, negotiation, peacebuilding, justice, Thailand

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2019

Religious Discourse and Gender Security in Southern Thailand

Citation:

Marddent, Amporn. 2019. "Religious Discourse and Gender Security in Southern Thailand." Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies 12 (2): 225-47.

Author: Amporn Marddent

Abstract:

This article describes the complexity of applying human security through the notion of gender equality in southern Thailand where violent conflict has been prevalent for nearly half a century in a Malay-Muslim dominated society. It explores how the concepts of gender and security have been interpreted in Malay-Muslim leaders’ outlooks. To define security more broadly, the article surveys the various notions of peacebuilding dealing with comprehensive human security and any security threat, thus not limited to state of war or physical violence only. In the prolonged armed violence and conflict, like that faced in Thailand’s Deep South, women’s security and their role in peacebuilding emerge as pertinent concerns. The discontinuities within the narratives of women and security highlight a divergence connected to personal-political imaginations of conflict whereby subtle variations in violent conflict can be seen as the products of different policy prescriptions, local cultural norms, and the project outcomes of women groups supported by governmental organizations and national and international donors. Thus, in order to reflect upon how contemporary security notions are framed, gendered security perceptions ought to be considered as they signify the exercise of peacebuilding programs in the local context. Persistent advocacy of gender equality is about cultural change, which eventually becomes a modality for non-violent society.

Keywords: Cultural Change, Deep South of Thailand, gender security, Malay-Muslim Women, peacebuilding

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Religion, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2019

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
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.
 
THAI ABSTRACT:
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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Climate Variability, Land Ownership and Migration: Evidence from Thailand about Gender Impacts

Citation:

Curran, Sara R., and Jacqueline Meijer-Irons. 2014. "Climate Variability, Land Ownership and Migration: Evidence from Thailand About Gender Impacts." Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 4 (1): 37-74.

Authors: Sara R. Curran, Jacqueline Meijer-Irons

Abstract:

Scholars point to climate change, often in the form of more frequent and severe drought, as a potential driver of migration in the developing world, particularly for places where populations rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. To date, however, there have been few large-scale, longitudinal studies that explore the relationship between climate change and migration. This study significantly extends current scholarship by evaluating distinctive effects of climatic variation and models these effects on men’s and women’s responsiveness to drought and rainfall. Our study also investigates how land ownership moderates these effects. We find small, but significant, increases in migration above existing migratory levels during periods of prolonged climatic stress, and that these patterns differ both by gender and land tenure.

Topics: Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Land Tenure, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2014

Social Participation and Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviors in Tsunami Prone Areas

Citation:

Witvorapong, Nopphol, Raya Muttarak, and Wiraporn Pothisiri. 2015. “Social Participation and Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviors in Tsunami Prone Areas.” PLoS ONE 10 (7): 1–20.

Authors: Nopphol Witvorapong, Raya Muttarak, Wiraporn Pothisiri

Abstract:

This paper examines the relationships between social participation and disaster risk reduction actions. A survey of 557 households in tsunami prone areas in Phang Nga, Thailand was conducted following the 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes. We use a multivariate probit model to jointly estimate the likelihood of undertaking three responses to earthquake and tsunami hazards (namely, (1) following disaster-related news closely, (2) preparing emergency kits and/or having a family emergency plan, and (3) having an intention to migrate) and community participation. We find that those who experienced losses from the 2004 tsunami are more likely to participate in community activities and respond to earthquake hazards. Compared to men, women are more likely to prepare emergency kits and/or have an emergency plan and have a greater intention to migrate. Living in a community with a higher proportion of women with tertiary education increases the probability of engaging in community activities and carrying out disaster risk reduction measures. Individuals who participate in village-based activities are 5.2% more likely to undertake all three risk reduction actions compared to those not engaging in community activities. This implies that encouraging participation in community activities can have positive externalities in disaster mitigation.

Topics: Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2015

Gender and the Management of Climate-Related Risks in Northern Thailand

Citation:

Lebel, Louis, Phimphakan Lebel, and Boripat Lebel. 2014. “Gender and the Management of Climate-Related Risks in Northern Thailand.” International Social Science Journal 65 (217/218): 147–58. doi:10.1111/issj.12090.

Authors: Louis Lebel, Phimphakan Lebel, Boripat Lebel

Abstract:

In much past research on the sustainability of natural resource management, gender was either ignored or women were essentialised as care-takers or victims. Recent programmes on disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change seem to be retracing these myths. There is a need for more critical research on how gender influences the experience and management of climate-related risks. This paper draws on a set of earlier studies to explore the influences of gender on climate risk management by farming households in northern Thailand. We find that women fish farmers perceived greater climate-related risks to profits, and this corresponded with attaching greater importance to risk management practices at the farm and community levels. Women and men crop farmers had very similar perceptions of changing drought risks. Research on the roles of women in community-level water management, and gendered social norms suggest that it will be more difficult for women to reduce risks to their farms at the larger, collective, scales than it is for men. This study shows that gender can influence risk-taking and decision-making and therefore should be taken into account when strengthening climate risk management practices or designing adaptation interventions. (Abstract from Wiley Online Library)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Thailand

Year: 2014

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