External PhD candidate
Mies Grijns is an external PhD candidate at the Van Vollenhoven Institute.
Mies Grijns has a background in anthropology (Leiden, MA 1983) and is currently an external PhD Candidate at the Van Vollenhoven Institute.
She coordinates a research project on child marriage in Indonesia. Based on a case-study in rural West Java the project explores the gap between international and state law and social practices of child marriage. The objective is to distinguish different types of child marriage based on root causes, agency and local context and to analyse how these marriages are enabled or prevented by present legal and policy practices.
The project participates in a lively debate between Indonesian academics, legal and gender practitioners and policymakers on how to end underage and forced child marriage and to mitigate the long-term negative effects of marriage under the age of 18.
Earlier research in the same region on labour relations at tea estates and on gender and rural industrialisation in West Java in the 1990s enables understanding of development processes that shape the present day context of child marriage.
Besides her academic work Grijns founded the Java Village Foundation (Stichting Java Village) to support the village community where she has been doing research since the 1980s. Moving back and forth between academic research and development work enhances the quality of both practical and theoretical insights. Eventually this will help pave the way to relevant use and valorisation of the research.