Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Allison E Joseph
In the 21st century, Myanmar has become the largest migration source country in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. To achieve its economic and political goals, the government has conducted extensive confiscation and reallocation of communal lands, which has resulted in a growing class of landless and dispossessed citizens. Under the new laws, rural women are disproportionately impacted and more vulnerable to the processes of dispossession, often lacking the rights or resources of their male counterparts to fight for the land of their ancestors. This has resulted in the wide-scale disinheritance of Myanmar’s rural women from their land and food, as they are expropriated from their ancestral homes and forced to migrate to urban centers outside of Myanmar. Through an analysis of ethnographic interviews, participatory action research, and visual images, this thesis will examine and identify the impacts of rural to urban migration on Myanmar women’s individual identity and connectedness towards the land and food. It is argued that in the process of migration, the traditional identities and customs of Myanmar’s rural women are uprooted, altered and damaged. The women find themselves in dialogue with a newfound distance, in which they are increasingly disconnected from the physical, social and intellectual origins of their food and the land it is grown upon. An interdisciplinary approach is utilized to situate the distancing of Myanmar’s women from the natural world within the larger processes of development and globalization. Ultimately, this thesis gives voice to the narratives of Myanmar’s women, whose challenges and experiences have been traditionally under-represented within academic literature.
Joseph, Allison, "Migration and Women’s Relationships to the Land and Food in Myanmar" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1603.