THE NEGOTIATION OF WOMEN IN CONFLICT SITUATIONS IN THE DEEP SOUTH OF THAILAND
The violent conflict in the southern border provinces of Thailand has pushed women into the public sphere, either of necessity or voluntarily. However, women are not merely victims of conflict and violence but attempt to mitigate violence and resolve conflict in their communities. They are determined not only to protect their immediate families but also their society as a whole. The research question that motivates this study is what are the facilitating factors that enable women who live in conflict-prone areas to advance gender demands to engage with the peace process and to redress gender inequality although they do not have the authoritative power. This study draws on existing literature and in-depth interviews of 15 women peace activists and two male social activists. This study finds four facilitating factors that enable women to intervene in conflict and redress gender inequality: self-mobilization and visibility; knowledge and skills; outside influences; and the ability to strategize gender issues. Given limitations in power and the minor roles that women have on formal peacebuilding and political platforms, these assets make it possible for women’s groups to leverage social change toward gender equality.
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