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【Co-hosted event with HSP, CSAS, RCSP and RCSD】: HSP Seminar (#293)

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Dr. Farhana Rahman: "I Had No Will to Live": Gender, Violence, and Subjectivity Among Rohingya Refugee Women

Date: 17 June 2022 (Friday), 18:00-19:30 JST (GMT+9)

Venue: Zoom


Dr. Farhana Rahman (Ph.D., University of Cambridge, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow)


“I Had No Will to Live”: Gender, Violence, and Subjectivity Among Rohingya Refugee



Until recently, Rohingyas making the perilous trek by boat and foot across the border into Bangladesh were predominantly male, as they were not only denied citizenship and legal rights in Myanmar but they also lacked economic opportunities within the country to support their families and communities. The 2017 attacks in Rakhine state, however, resulted in a drastic increase of women and girls undertaking these dangerous journeys to escape intense violence – including mass sexual violence – targeted against the Rohingya minority. The migration journeys of these women entailed not only violence and hardship, but also regular incidents of exploitation, including trafficking, rape, and forced marriage. Based on 14 months of feminist ethnographic research, this paper traces Rohingya women’s lived experiences of violence and conflict during and after forced migration on their everyday lives and subjectivities in the squalid camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. It shines a nuanced lens on the gendered impacts of forced migration, and the ways in which Rohingya women learn to negotiate and navigate within and against this precarious environment by employing strategies of survival. Rohingya refugee women’s narratives thus reveal the construction of new gendered identities in displacement, and evidence women’s incredible resilience in spite of profound trauma and suffering.

Moderator: Ai Kihara-Hunt (Professor, The University of Tokyo)

Commentator: Lisette R. Robles, Ph.D. (Research Fellow, JICA Ogata Research Institute)

Language: English


Graduate Program on Human Security (HSP); Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS); Indian Ocean World Studies (TINDOWS); Research Center for Sustainable Peace (RCSP) ; Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD), The University of Tokyo

South Asia Studies Center, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies


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