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Resettlement in Lao PDR: mobility, resistance and gendered impacts

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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.
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Keywords: Laos; gender; género; livelihoods; medios de vida; mobility; movilidad; reasentamiento; resettlement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gender and Development Studies, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, 12120, Thailand 2: Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway 3: HDF School of Management, Naranpur, P.O. Belagachchia, Cuttack District, Odisha, India 4: Institute of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, No. 7 Lane 622, Huaihai Zhong Road, Shanghai, 200020, China 5: Public Works and Transport Institute, Dongpalane Road, Sisattanak District, Vientiane Capital City, P.O. Box 5067, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Publication date: September 14, 2015

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