Burmas demokratiseringsprocess – också för kvinnor?: En kvalitativ studie av hur politiskt aktiva burmesiska kvinnor ser på sina förutsättningar för politiskt deltagande
In the beginning of this century United Nations expressed their concern about the lack of female participation in politics through a number of resolutions and conventions. To ensure sustainable development and democracy, United Nations argued the importance of women’s participation in every level of politics within a state. Burma is a country that is in the middle of an ongoing democratization process and women are not considered to participate in this process. The purpose of this thesis is therefore to analyze the experience of politically involved Burmese women in their political participation progress. This study has been realized through semi-structured interviews with nine Burmese women, in both Thailand and Burma. The questions that have been asked are about what societal and cultural barriers women meet when they are, or want to be, political involved, both from the society and within their own political organizations. The empirical material has been analyzed through gender theories with focus to find keywords and themes. The study finds that norms about gender in the Burmese culture and society are barriers when women want to be politically involved. The role of the woman is understood as being a good mother and housewife, which hindrance women when they want to participate in politics. Women also experience obstacles getting involved in decision-making processes and leadership roles because opportunities are mostly given to men, and also from men to men. However, although women face different kind of barriers entering the political sphere there is still evidence of women being politically involved, which indicates some kind of agency. The women also pointed out that the future focus must be on encouraging young woman to politically participate in the transformation process in Burma. The conclusion that can be drawn out of this study is that the barriers that women meet in their political participation are deeply rooted norms about gender which are given from one generation to another.