Rapid Gender Analysis on Power and Participation: Women Lead in Emergencies Northern Shan State, Myanmar
Publication Date: 01/11/2022
As of December 2022, there are 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDP) in Myanmar.4 Over 40,000 people remain in neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, and India since the takeover. More than 18,058 civilian properties, including houses, churches, monasteries, and schools are estimated to have been destroyed during hostilities, although figures are difficult to verify. The level of destruction of civilian properties, particularly homes, combined with the seemingly never-ending fighting will very likely prolong the displacement of the IDPs and would further deteriorate their already fragile living conditions. The current volatile security situation and its associated restrictions, such as bureaucratic processes, systematic blocks on access approvals, continue to hamper humanitarian access and delay the delivery of assistance.
The purpose of this Rapid Gender Analysis on Power & Participation (RGA-P) is to build a better understanding as to whether and how women are able to participate in the community and in decision making spaces in the Northern Shan State of Myanmar and what changes may have occurred as a result of the conflict and women’s participation and leadership. The research was conducted through primary and secondary data collection in July 2022 in three villages in the Lashio Township of the Northern Shan State, Myanmar.
Summary of the findings
The main factors that were found to restrict women’s access and opportunity to participate in public decision making and leadership roles were related to
➢ Social norms and expectations of the role women are expected to play/hold in society and the views that female characteristics are not fit for leadership roles.
➢ The expectation that women are responsible for all of the household chores, childcare and care for elderly.
➢ Restrictions on women’s movement (controlled by husbands and elder family members) also impedes women’s rights to engage in spaces outside of the home.
➢ In addition, barriers such a slow literacy rates in Myanmar language (the language used is most formal meetings/decision making spaces)