Sustainable Development with Indigenous Women in the Yucatan

Author: Kristin Read
Major: Sociology, Political Science
Approved: Spring 2016
Status: Completed

The Yucatan Peninsula supports a number of women organizations by building pathways to sustainable development, achieving gender equality, and empowering women. The Múuch Meyaj Ko’olelo’ob (MMK) is a group of indigenous women who have come together with the goal of becoming the providers for their families. Often these types of women organizations do more than provide, they break the traditional gender roles they are expected to live by. These women challenge the role of masculinity as the only form of social success in the family. This Distinction Project begins with an independent study for one semester (Spring 2017), in which I will conduct in-depth field research study surrounding women’s organizations in Yucatan, with special attention to the city of Merida. I will obtain an internship in the Yucatan during summer term two (July 2017), in which I will conduct interviews with questions that I prepare in my independent study, as well as while I am there. Based on lessons learned in my internship in the Yucatan, I will design and carry out research aimed at answering the following questions: What traditional social roles do indigenous women in the Yucatan hold? What motivations do women in the Yucatan have to break these social norms?  How is gender equality and women’s empowerment essential for the development of indigenous women for a common future and the impact in coming generations?