While the global conference, Women Deliver, leaves Copenhagen, Myanmar’s parties continue to promote the role of women in politics.
In the slipstream of the global Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, DIPD invited Dr. Mya Thaung, Chairman of the Women & Children’s Rights Committee in Myanmar’s Upper House, and Dr. Khin Nyo, member of the Health and Sports Committee in the Lower House, for a discussion on how to promote the role of women in politics within the newly formed parliament in Myanmar.
Mya Thaung has shown a keen interest in DIPD’s local efforts and acted as the keynote speaker at the beginning of March, when DIPD organized a regional seminar to provide political parties with the opportunity to share strategies on how to increase opportunities for women’s representation in politics and political parties. Here, Thaung noted that “we all have to work to together to have more women participating in politics”.
That message was repeated today, as he discussed how the new NLD-led parliament can put women’s rights and participation on the agenda, and how DIPD can help facilitate cross-political dialogue among female parliamentarians.
During the March conference, which coincided with the International Women’s Day, parliamentarians from three DIPD partner countries, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan, as well as Denmark, shared valuable experiences, ideas and strategies. Even though women remain hugely underrepresented in parliaments in the region, the November 2015 parliamentary election in Myanmar was a big step forward for women’s political participation in the country. Here, the number of elected women tripled and now stands at 13 %, and women made a big impact in party campaigns and polling station management.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD was one of the frontrunners when it came to both female and youth participation during the elections. However, the new band of ministers remain largely male, with Aung San Suu Kyi being the only female minister. The road ahead therefore remains long and the need for gender balancing is still very current.
Promoting women’s participation in politics therefore continues to be a strategic focus for DIPD and the Myanmar Multiparty Democracy Programme. Working together with political parties, parliamentary committees and local women’s networks, DIPD are eager to facilitate cross-party dialogue on how to advance national agenda setting on women, how parties can become more gender responsive as well as develop the capacities of female party members through mentoring and networking.
Read the report from the Women’s conference here.
Read more about DIPD’s work in Myanmar, where we are part of the EU supported STEP Democracy Programme.