Gender, Land Tenure, and Disasters in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace book series (BRIEFSSECUR, volume 21)


This case study discusses the many challenges faced by the Mentawai people of Indonesia who are increasingly suffering the consequences of unsustainable development and complex natural and human-made disasters. A brief review of the rich biodiversity and natural resources of Mentawai Islands contextualizes the discussion that follows, namely the different threats to lands, forests and natural resources the Mentawai people find themselves grappling with. This chapter identifies a link between gender, natural resource, land tenure, and disaster and argues that nuances around gender and other categories are inadequately addressed or ignored. We focus particularly on three issues: first, locating Mentawai women’s inheritance rights within the Mentawaian patrilineal social structures and customs that circumscribe women’s rights to land and other property; second, the connection between women’s land tenure and gender differential disaster damages and recovery process; and the third, how gendered land rights/tenure interrelate with the difference of loss and suffering of women and men in Mentawai society and how development agendas and interventions construct vulnerability of women and men differently.


Gender Land tenure Disaster vulnerability Indigenous people Mentawai 



Hak Pengusahaan Hutan


Izin Pemanfaatan Kayu


Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia


Yayasan Citra Mandiri


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Copyright information

©  Food and Agriculture Organization 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SarawakMalaysia
  2. 2.The Asia FoundationJakartaIndonesia
  3. 3.Director Upper Austrian Branch Office of Gesellschaft Fuer Bedrohte Voelker (GfbV)AustriaEurope

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