2015 Election: Women account for 13% of candidates

2015 Election: Women account for 13% of candidates

Some 800 women are among the 6,189 candidates registered for the 8 November polls, according to the Union Election Commission (UEC).

In the list of candidates released on 20 August, the UEC confirmed that 122 female candidates were nominated for the Upper House, 228 for the Lower House, and 454 for divisional and state seats.

Although women account for just 13 percent of the politicians in the country, the number is higher than in previous elections.

In 2010, just 101 women were on the ballots out of more than 3,000 candidates; 45 were elected.

The National League for Democracy (NLD), the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the National Unity Party claimed to have given female members priority ahead of men for this year’s general election.

The NLD submitted the highest number of female candidates, with 168 women contesting polls, followed by the USDP with 72.

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A fledgling democracy, Burma’s representation of women in elections is low compared to its neighbours. Women make up 36 percent of elected MPs in Thailand; 23 percent in China; and 20 percent in Bangladesh. In India, just 11 percent of parliamentarians are females.

Perhaps surprisingly, the country with the highest proportion of female MPs is Rwanda, according to the United Nations, where women hold 64 percent of parliamentary seats. German parliament is 37 percent female; Britain, 29 percent; Australia, 26 percent; and the United States, 19 percent.

 

Read more: DVB’s 2015 election coverage

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