Spaces for participation and resistance: gendered experiences of oil palm plantation development

Rosanne de Vos*, Izabela Delabre

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we explore the gendered experiences of, and responses to, socio-economic and environmental change evoked by processes of land acquisition for oil palm plantation development. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, we examine the heterogeneous and differentiated nature of women's lived experiences in resisting, accepting and enacting agrarian change. We find that impacts stretch beyond livelihood opportunities, access to land and resources, and labour conditions: plantation development also affects and changes social relations, leading to insecurity and anxiety and new forms of solidarity. Using an analytical framework of ‘spaces for participation’ we highlight how women are excluded from participation during negotiations and contestations around land acquisition for the development of oil palm plantations. Yet, women also challenge their exclusion by claiming space for participation in different ways, including by engaging in alternative, more subtle forms of resistance that frequently go unnoticed by policies and practices that aim to empower women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-226
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


    • Gender
    • Micro-politics
    • Palm oil
    • Positionality
    • Resistance
    • Spaces for participation


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