Global Journal of Women Studies
Journal ISSN: ****-****
Article DOI: ****/gjws-1.1.3
Received: ****-****
Accepted: ****-****
Published: ****-****
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  • Social Suffering and Coping Strategies of the Widows at Mawchi Mine in Myanmar

Naw Paw Lar Say

Published online: 2017


No one knows the complete history of the Mawchi mine situation in Myanmar. It is more than a century old since the British occupation of Burma (Myanmar) in 1830. The high quality tin and tungsten from the Mawchi mines has been exported to the world market since colonial times. Presently, Mawchi shows scars all over the hillsides from tailings where the mining operations have dumped debris over the nearby environment and has negatively affected the local people. Through reviewing of selected social science literature on mining and its impact on the communities, especially on women, this paper explores specifically the “widows’ issue”. The social exclusion and extreme deprivation faced by widows at Mawchi mine indicates wherever widows are suffering as they live in a very long term period of armed conflict, unrest political situation as well as the mining zone, they have never been visible to the public and to the policy makers or the state. Unspoken structural violence affects people differently based on various forms of social structures and it is very closely linked to social injustice (Farmer 2004; 2009). It indicates the material, cultural and gender relations that are related into gender hierarchy and the domination of patriarchal systems, through working powers in institutions as frozen factors of structural violence that are affecting widows experience of suffering and their coping strategies. Significantly, this paper challenges the stakeholders or policy initiatives both national and global that the development agenda should be addressed the painful absence of “widows’ issues” as one of the significant important issues to include women’s economic self-sufficiency, gender equality and wellbeing.