On 28 April 2017, Gender Concerns International facilitated an Interactive Consultation Meeting between Women’s Organisations and the Union Election Commission Myanmar (UEC) on gender-sensitive electoral reform. The meeting took place at the UEC Headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Gender Concerns International kindly thanks UEC for hosting the meeting.
While all participants recognised that Myanmar had a long way to go to gender parity in the electoral system, positive developments were recognised with noticeable increases of female candidates in the General Elections 2015 compared to the elections in 2010 (from 3% to 13%), as well as from the 2015 elections to the recent By-Elections (from 13% to 17%).
UEC emphasised that they have outstanding women on their staff, and that they are making consorted efforts to further increase the number of women in the Commission.
Voter Education and Civic Education for women, particularly in remote areas, was identified as a weakness and something that needs to be improved. UEC encouraged WOs to implement activities, noting that the efforts of Civil Society will be important to improve this situation.
In the young democracy of Myanmar there remain a considerable gap between Civil Society and Government Institutions. Gender Concerns International is very pleased to have had the opportunity to facilitate this consultation, contributing towards more inclusive governance and an increasingly gender-sensitive electoral system.