Rooting out inequalities: Women’s participation in forest management in conflict-affected areas of Karen state in Myanmar

This report takes a critical look at the gender and power dynamics around forest management in Myanmar and shines a light on the role women play.

Forests are a critical resource for people in Myanmar, in particular for ethnic minorities such as the Karen people. Neglecting forest management in conflict-affected areas can increase conflict risks and carry adverse social and environmental impacts.

This report builds on previous research, exploring the key role gender plays in opportunities for peacebuilding.

Women’s participation in forest use, forest management and forest governance is shaped by gender norms and representation. Gender shapes the differences in the social expectations surrounding women and men. It influences how and why conflict turns violent, and how violence is perpetrated.

Projects that do not engage women will overlook perspectives and experiences that impact the effectiveness of a project. Taking only a number-counting approach to the participation of women in meetings and trainings is, however, insufficient.

Bringing a gender analysis to forest management offers a unique opening for an inclusive gender-transformative approach that is conducive to building sustainable positive peace.

Below, you can download the full report and executive summary, as well as an infographic with tips for civil society on women, forest management and peacebuilding, in English and Myanmar.

Peace Research Partnership

This report was produced as part of the Peace Research Partnership (PRP), a process of participatory research with partners and communities in conflict-affected areas around the world. The aim of PRP was to generate and share knowledge about how international actors, like INGOs and donors, can best support peaceful and inclusive change in conflict contexts. The research partnership was funded by the UK government. However, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.