The Burmese military has appointed two female officers for the first time as representatives in parliament.
According to an announcement by the Union Election Commission in state-run newspapers on Friday, the military replaced four of its representatives in the lower house with new officers who were nominated by the commander-in-chief, two of whom are women: Lt-Col Soe Soe Myint and Lt-Col San Thida Khin.
Ye Htun, a lower house MP from Shan State, said the two are the first women ever appointed by the military as representatives in the parliament.
A female representative in the lower house for the National League for Democracy, Phyu Phyu Thin, said, “Whether it’s men or women, when there is democratic change in the parliamentary politics, I want it to be only because the people will it.”
According to the 2008 constitution, the Burmese armed forces are allocated 25 percent of seats in both houses of parliament. These MPs are unelected and can be rotated at the discretion of the commander-in-chief.
In October, DVB reported that Burma’s armed forces would for the first time in over 50 years open recruitment for females at the Defence Services Academy.
According to an advertisement by the Burmese Army Military Appointments General’s Office, single women who have graduated from university and who are no older than 30 can now apply for a six-month cadet training course.