Promoting Women's Rights
Women in Myanmar face discrimination and limited decision-making power in their communities and in society more broadly. Only ten percent of seats in Myanmar’s parliament are held by women and research by Oxfam shows that women encounter significant barriers to taking on leadership roles both in running for elected office as well as informally in their communities. Oxfam is working with local organisations and local government to change public perceptions about the value and legitimacy of women’s leadership and to help duty bearers – such as Government – make sure women's voices are given space within important local planning processes.
Alongside efforts to change public perceptions of women’s leadership, Oxfam believes in the importance of directly supporting women to become transformative leaders. We provide leadership training to women in Government and civil society as well as to women community leaders across the country. This helps to develop women’s leadership capacity - formally, to stand for and hold elected office and build the skills needed to influence decision making by Governments and Ethnic Administrations, and informally, to develop their community leadership skills break—and breakdown barriers that prevent women from participating in public life. Oxfam is also working with local partners, Members of Parliament and Government departments to embed models of gender budgeting – budget processes which take into account the views of diverse women and men and reflect the spending needs of all community members. Including the needs and views of women in Government budgets often results in more spending on key services, such as health and education.