Political Transitions During Women 's Status

2648 Words Aug 1st, 2014 11 Pages
Political Transitions in Myanmar and Changes in Burmese Women’s Status
Since its independence in 1948 until 2008, Myanmar was an island unto itself. Although being the largest mainland country in Southeast Asia, it is also one of the least known countries in the region. Decades of military dictatorship and a policy of isolationism made Myanmar one of the least developed countries in the world with a population of 60 million people. Various international agencies, such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), classify Myanmar as a “low-income country under stress” and “least developed country (LDC)” –this indicates that the country not only suffers from extreme poverty, but it also exhibits the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all countries in the world (World Bank 2013; UNDP 2012). In addition to other human development indices, there is a lack of political and socioeconomic opportunities for Burmese women in spite of the common perception that Burmese women have traditionally enjoyed a relatively high status in society. During the British colonial period (1824-1948), there were significant improvements in social, political, and economic opportunities for Burmese women. However, the Burmese military junta that seized control of the country in 1962 reverted these changes. Consequently, the status of Burmese women in society continued to deteriorate until 2008, when the Burmese…
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