Strong Roots: Understanding the Importance of Myanmar’s Indigenous Women as Leaders in Developing Climate Change Solutions
This book contains a series of essays predominantly written by Indigenous women from Myanmar. The essays show Indigenous women to be at the crux of climate change in Myanmar.
On one hand, their daily activities in forests mean they hold the knowledge of how to grow seeds and plants, as well as care for native species and protect biodiversity. These roles create an important relationship between Indigenous women and the forests which surround their homes.
On the other hand, Indigenous women are amongst the economically poorest populations in the world and rely on renewable natural resources. As such, they are at high risk of being impacted by climate changes and are vulnerable to (or already affected by) climatic shifts, with consequences for their health, food, housing, work life and personal security. As rural women tend to have less financial, physical and human resources than men, they have fewer options to respond to these changes.
As the essays in this book show, Myanmar’s Indigenous women’s unique knowledge means they should be at the forefront of discussions about climate change – however they are currently not playing a central role. Myanmar’s unique political history also means this knowledge is not widely available and has been little researched. It is also knowledge, which due to changes in culture and external pressures, is no longer being passed down between generations. In short, it is knowledge that is being lost.