“Now the Forest Is Over”: Transforming the Commons and Remaking Gender in Cambodia's Uplands

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Frontiers Media S.A
Copyright © 2021 Beban and Bourke Martignoni. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Communal lands and natural resources in rural Cambodia have transformed over the past 30 years as the country attempts to transition from conflict to liberal democracy and integrates into global agricultural value chains. We find that gender relations are changing as a result of land privatization and the ensuing social and ecological crises of production and reproduction. The forest has become a space for the articulation of new masculinities modulated through class and racialised power, while women are increasingly relegated to the private space of the home and village, negotiating expectations that they perform care, farming and food provisioning work while juggling household debt. We ground our argument in a large sample of qualitative interviews conducted between 2016 and 2020 in the upland provinces of Kampong Thom, Kratie and Ratanakiri that provide narrative accounts of the transformation of common forest and grazing lands, logging livelihoods and food provisioning practices. Using a feminist political ecology perspective, we highlight the contradictory processes of enclosure of the commons, which operate simultaneously as sites of violence, resistance, adaptation and continuity.
Cambodia, masculinities, femininities, commons, forest, food security, logging, land enclosures
Beban A, Bourke Martignoni J. (2021). “Now the Forest Is Over”: Transforming the Commons and Remaking Gender in Cambodia's Uplands. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 5.