The Current Situation

Myanmar’s 2015 elections resulted in women becoming around 10% of the MPs in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and across the State/Region Hluttaws. The proportion of women in Myanmar’s parliaments from 2016-21 was more than double that at any time in the past. However, nine in ten MPs were still men – a highly unequal situation. Myanmar is currently ranked 167th out of 191 countries worldwide for the percentage of national MPs who are women, outperforming only one other ASEAN country (Brunei). The percentage of female parliamentary candidates for the 2020 elections is only a few percent higher than in 2015, and a dramatic increase in women’s parliamentary representation following these elections is unlikely.
Women are also entirely absent from top leadership positions in the Tatmadaw and only very rarely found in senior positions in ethnic armed organisations.

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This briefing note summarises the findings of Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation’s (EMReF) recent report, ‘Gender and Political Participation in Myanmar’. That report is based on two existing, and one forthcoming (December 2020), working papers that give an in-depth exploration of certain aspects of gender and political participation in Myanmar. These publications can all be downloaded from the EMReF website: