Women’s Political Participation in Myanmar: Experiences of Women Parliamentarians 2011-2016
Sixty years of military rule in Myanmar has seen the critical role of women’s political participation marginalized. From an extremely low base, the 2010 general elections increased the opportunity for women’s participation in governance. The 2015 general elections presented another opportunity for a more inclusive representational government, and Myanmar saw a significant increase in the number of women parliamentarians. However, there remain substantial challenges to addressing the gender gap in political participation in Myanmar. Given the nascent but evolving context for women’s political participation in Myanmar, The Asia Foundation thought that it would be useful to document the experiences of the first generation of women parliamentarians to understand better their motivations and the challenges they face. We hope that the insights that they have about their own situations and what can be improved will be useful for the next generation of women’s parliamentarians as well as informing relevant support provided by government, political parties, and civil society organizations to increase gender equality in Myanmar.