A new report from Myanmar points to the poor representation of women in parliament and the importance of thinking beyond numbers alone to consider whether women are empowered once elected:
Following the 2015 election, the number of female MPs increased significantlyand is now higher than at any other time in Myanmar’s history.
“The 2015 election resulted in increased female representation in state and region parliaments, with women this time taking 12.7 percent of elected seats, compared to just 3.8 percent in the 2010 election,” said Paul Minoletti, author of the report for the Asia Foundation.
But he added that while male-to-female ratios are the simplest way to measure equality, the numbers belie the “(in)equality of participation”, the seriousness with which representatives’ views are taken and the influence decisionmakers have.
“Gender, of course, is not the only factor that affects individuals’ ability to participate or influence their needs and preferences,” the report said. “Other key factors are age, socioeconomic class, family background, ethnicity, religion, and geographical location.”
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