Understanding masculinities, conflict and peace in Myanmar (PSF – project)

International Alert is implementing a new project on “Critically understanding masculinities and engaging male champions for peacebuilding in Myanmar” with funding from the Peace Support Fund and in partnership with Thingaha Gender Organisation and Phan Tee Eain (PTE). In 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 affirmed the right of women in conflict to participate in decision making related to peace and security. Academic research has demonstrated that peace negotiations are more likely to lead to a successful agreement implemented successfully if women are meaningfully involved in the negotiations as well as in the implementation. This is not yet the case in Myanmar, despite the commitment to 30% participation by women.

There is increasing awareness that gender is important in understanding conflict and working for peace, however, in practice this has often translated into programming focused entirely on women and girls to counterbalance their marginalisation in formal settings. The ‘other side of gender’, i.e. the experience of men and boys, is less well understood from a gender perspective. In this project, we will undertake research to better understand the social expectations on men and boys in Myanmar, and how this drives or hinders their engagement in conflict, violence or peace building.

Our overall goal is to enhance efforts to build peace by seeking to strengthen the role of women in peacebuilding in Myanmar through creating a better understanding of conflict-affected men and masculinities, and supporting the integration of this understanding into the work of the diverse range of actors engaged in peacebuilding work.

We will investigate 4 key dimensions:

  • Men and boys as agents of violent conflict/peace,

  • Vulnerabilities of men and boys in violent conflict, displacement and post-conflict transition (including IDPs/returnees, trafficking, veterans with disabilities)

  • Masculinities and SGBV (both perpetration of and exposure to)

  • Men as enablers, gate-keepers and barriers to women’s participation in peace building.

The research will take place in Yangon, Southern Shan and Thanintaryi between May and September 2017. The aim of the research is to develop short, practical outputs: a policy brief outlining the key issues and recommendation to policy makers and short “How-to” notes aimed at practitioners. We will also develop a training manual on each theme, designed in a modular format to facilitate integration into the already existing trainings on peacebuilding and peace processes used by the diverse actors working for peace.

The second phase of the project will focus on sharing the findings with a broader audience of national and international, civil society and governmental actors engaged in the peace process and peacebuilding in Myanmar through a series of thematic roundtables and trainings in Yangon, NayPyiTaw as well as in Taunggyi and Dawei.

Project Activities

  1. Field research
  2. Round Table Discussion
  3. Data Valitation
  4. Dissemination and trainings