Statistics from the World Bank and UNICEF have shown that female population in Myanmar is about 51.5% in 2012 and adult female literacy rate (2008-2012) is about 95.8%. (Trading Economics) (UNICEF) Moreover, the percentage of female undergraduates and postgraduates at universities and degree colleges is about 60% (283120 out of 470912) in 2012 under department of higher education for Lower Myanmar. (Myanmar Ministry of Education) From the above statistics, it is obvious that women are quite comparable with men in Myanmar. However, based on the UN Gender Inequality Index 2012, Myanmar is ranked at 80 out of 148 countries. (UN Data, 2012) So this paper mainly explores what happened to women in Myanmar.
Before conducting any research, we have to understand the structure of Ministry of Education in Myanmar. There are two different departments of higher education in Myanmar; Lower and Upper Myanmar. Upper Myanmar includes Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Sagaing, Magway, Mandalay and Shan States and Lower Myanmar regions are Bago, Tanintharyi, Mon, Rakhine, Yangon and Ayeyarwady regions.
After understanding about the education structure in Myanmar, I had used Myanmar Ministry of Education as my primary source. There are total of 113 institutions in Upper Myanmar whereas only 70 institutions in Lower Myanmar. There are about 82% of female teachers (9051 out of 10960) in Lower Myanmar which shows that the majority of teachers in universities and colleges of Lower Myanmar regions is woman. (Myanmar Ministry of Education, 2012) In Lower Myanmar regions (2012) females earned 65.2% for bachelor’s degree, 80.5% master’s degree and 76.4% for doctor’s degree compared to males. Based on my primary source, there are more numbers of educated females than males in Lower Myanmar. However, there is no data of students and teacher proportions available for Upper Myanmar region.
Although there are generally more educated females than males, there are still fewer females' labor force participation. In 2010, female vs male ratio for labor force participation under 25-54, 55-64 and 65+ years old age groups is 90 vs 97, 65 vs 80 and 26 vs 42 respectively. (International Labor Organization)Then, where are the educated women working? Or are they still in Myanmar? As there are only 4.6% of females taking seats in the parliament 2012, the educated women are obviously not in the parliament. (Empowering Women for Stronger Political Parties: A Guidebook to Promote Women's Political participation UNDP and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, 2012) According to UN Population Division in 2010, there are about 19% of females’ migration compared to 18% of males’ migration under 20-39 age group and there is an equal percentage (13%) of males and females migrated under 40-64 age group. It seems like some educated women might migrate and there will be a brain drain which is not good for the development of Myanmar. Myanmar’s 2013...