Resettlement in Lao PDR: Mobility, Resistance and Gendered Impacts


Kusakabe, Kyoko, Ragnhild Lund, Smita Mishra Panda, Yunxian Wang, and Sengkham Vongphakdy. 2015. “Resettlement in Lao PDR: Mobility, Resistance and Gendered Impacts.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (8): 1089–1105. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2014.939149.

Authors: Kyoko Kusakabe, Ragnhild Lund, Smita Mishra Panda, Yunxian Wang, Sengkham Vongphakdy


Villagers in northern Laos have been on the move for generations. Recent changes, however, in the location of their village and their daily mobility patterns differ from what they have experienced before; the government’s resettlement programme has changed their livelihoods and made them more socially and economically vulnerable. The ethnic groups we studied have decided to use mobility to resist state control and seek livelihood security for themselves. By using the concept of motility, this article analyses how this household and community choices have a gender-differentiated impact. The mobility patterns of men and women have changed. While men attend to long-term investments, women are forced to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis. Men visit the market and public places more frequently, while women spend more time looking for non-timber forest products and working as hired labour. Although women now support the family and their mobility has increased, their say in the household seems to be on the decline, resulting in weakening women’s motility. 


Keywords: gender, resettlement, mobility, Laos, livelihoods

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Laos

Year: 2015

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