Geotema 53

Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg, Stefano Malatesta

La risposta sociale al cambiamento. Il ruolo delle donne in una comunità insulare: il caso di Faaf-Magoodhoo (Rep. of the Maldives)

Abstract: A social response to change. Women in an insular community: the case of Faaf-Magoodhoo (Rep. of the Maldives)

Over the last three decades, the human geography of the Maldives has been passing through a complex set of transformative forces that go beyond the discourse on the environmental fragility of archipelagic states (Baldacchino, 2004). Due to these geographical and historical processes, the narrative identifying climate change as the main perturbative driver of socio-environmental relationships, as well as controversial, is quite incomplete, especially if we consider the local scale. The social response (Kates 1971) of the Maldivian communities must be read taking into account a broader body of practices, technologies, roles and cultural traits that characterize resilience strategies at local scale. Within this context, observing both the international documents (e.g the reports published by UNDP or UNESCO) and the national framework, the role played by women, especially within the smaller islands and the peripheral atolls, is a promising research topic. Since 2012, the Marine Research and High Education Center (MaRHE Center) has been carrying out researches on the social response to change, within the community of Faaf-Magoodhoo. These studies address the importance of women (both considering the informal and institutional levels) in the reproduction of the strategies and knowledge local communities adopt to cope with the environmental change. In this contribution, we discuss both the methodological backgrounds and outcomes of a project aiming to understand the perception of environmental changes and to study the waste management system.

Keywords: Maldives, Social Response, Local Communities, Change, Women