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Advancing Gender Advocacy in Myanmar: Beyond False Promises & Deep Divides

Women living in Myanmar’s conflict areas face enormous pressure from ethnic autonomous organizations to support a war effort that does not necessarily serve their interests. These pressures are subtle, and often invisible to development actors who focus on tackling intersections of gender and conflict that are more overt. As a result, advocacy efforts do not always reach women who need them most at the ground level. Building on my previous discussions of the [...]

2018-07-20T15:25:41+00:00

“Peace Process” Versus “Peacebuilding Project” – Why Nuance Matters in Myanmar’s Development Landscape

Development practitioners in Myanmar should view the phenomenon of “peacebuilding” as two separate, but intersecting projects—one driven by Myanmar nationals, and the other driven by international actors. The “peace process” is a closed system invested in the balance of power between ethnic communities and the Myanmar government, while another project—what I call the “peacebuilding project” represents, among other things, an international contest for geopolitical control in Mainland Southeast Asia. In this piece, I [...]

2018-07-20T15:25:15+00:00

Seeing Beyond the Visible: How Development Practitioners Should Think About Gender and Peacebuilding in Myanmar

Peacebuilding practitioners in Myanmar should re-orient the way we look at peace and conflict processes, by viewing them through the experiences of women. Applying a gender lens to Myanmar’s peace process—which is largely dominated by male elites and leaves out the voices of ethnic communities, will reveal a more complete picture of the strategies being enacted by civil society actors to mitigate the effects of armed conflict. This, in turn, could inform policies [...]

2018-07-20T15:23:19+00:00

The Rohingya, the Kachin and the drama of human trafficking: Why Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts should be a priority for the U.S.

Originally posted for the Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia Change blog: http://www.theseachange.org/2015/06/the-drama-of-human-trafficking/ Photo of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in 2013, photo credit to EU/ECHO/Pierre Prakash and used under a creative commons license. While recent U.S.-driven anti-trafficking policy initiatives in Myanmar have focused on training the central government to adopt new laws and sensitizing police, little has been accomplished in the way of trafficking prevention, particularly in Myanmar’s conflicted ethnic areas. Examining the civil conflicts in two [...]

2018-07-20T15:22:52+00:00

Carrots, Sticks and the TIP Report: Understanding the US Government’s Anti-Trafficking Efforts in Southeast Asia

Last week the US State Department issued its annual Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report, which ranks every country in the world according to their adherence to the US government’s anti-trafficking mandate. For the first time, Thailand was designated “Tier 3,” the lowest “rung” on the TIP Report’s ladder. The Report, which is published by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, describes “Tier 1” countries as those demonstrating sufficient anti-trafficking efforts; “Tier 2” [...]

2018-07-20T15:22:20+00:00